May Bo­eve

She has been called the new face of cli­mate change – May Bo­eve, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of 350.org, is lead­ing the way to a cleaner, health­ier planet

Marie Claire (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - @may­boeve

WITH SO­CI­ETY in­creas­ingly fo­cus­ing on en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues, 350.org is one of the world’s most in­no­va­tive or­gan­i­sa­tions. And May Bo­eve, 31, sits at its helm – a po­si­tion she has held for the past eight years. Founded in 2008 by six univer­sity stu­dents (one to rep­re­sent each con­ti­nent), and named af­ter the con­cen­tra­tion of car­bon diox­ide (in parts per mil­lion) the at­mos­phere can safely hold with­out im­pact­ing cli­mate change, 350.org is fo­cused on cre­at­ing mass mo­bil­i­sa­tion and aware­ness to cre­ate a sense of ur­gency around the cli­mate cri­sis. While work­ing with 350.org in North America, May was in­volved in es­tab­lish­ing events to build a move­ment for ac­tion on cli­mate change. The rst event in 2009, In­ter­na­tional Day of Cli­mate Ac­tion, in­tended to in uence del­e­gates go­ing to that year’s UN Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change. The cam­paign saw 5 200 demon­stra­tions around the world in 181 coun­tries, which 350.org re­ported as ‘the most wide­spread day of po­lit­i­cal ac­tion’.

Be­fore her work with 350.org, May co-founded the Step It Up cam­paign in 2006, the rst open-source, web-based day of ac­tion geared to­wards halt­ing cli­mate change. By April 2007, the move­ment had grown to a na­tional day of ac­tion in the US, with com­mu­ni­ties gath­er­ing to call for US Congress to im­ple­ment poli­cies that would cut car­bon emis­sions by 80 by 2050.

In 2007, May co-au­thored Fight Global Warm­ing

Now with Bill McKibben, a fel­low 350.org

founder. But her rise to the top has not al­ways been smooth. ‘There’s a struc­tural sex­ism prob­lem, full stop,’ she has said. ‘If you look at the num­bers, they don’t lie. There are just not as many women lead­ing, in that sense – run­ning the or­gan­i­sa­tion, be­ing the gure­head.’

May was a re­cip­i­ent of the 2006 Brower Youth

Award, which are awarded to Amer­i­can en­vi­ron­men­tal and so­cial jus­tice lead­ers younger than 23. She’s cur­rently fo­cus­ing on ask­ing cor­po­ra­tions and NGOs to di­vest their in­vest­ments in fos­sil fuel com­pa­nies. mc

LEFT A 350.org protest for ac­tion against cli­mate change

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