Wondering how to secure a meeting with your parliamentary candidate? We've got a plan.
07 Nov 2019
Meeting with your parliamentary candidates provides an important opportunity to get them to pledge their support for urgent climate action. It also gives you the space to explore their position on key environmental issues and helps you build relationships for your future campaigning.
Invite your candidates to meet
First things first, we've drafted a template email you can use to ask candidates to meet. We’ve left space for you to tailor the email so you can place your local environmental concerns front and centre. As you’d expect, candidates are very busy during the election period so try to remain flexible on dates.
Many candidates will have headquarters which will act as a natural venue for your meeting. In the absence of a HQ, a local cafe (if it’s not too busy) or even your local library can work well for a place to meet.
Agenda for the meeting
To help structure your meeting and get the most out of it we have created a checklist. The checklist breaks down key environmental actions that need to be taken by politicians to ensure the UK is doing all it can to combat climate breakdown.
You may want to run through the list systematically in your meeting, or if you’re worried about running out of time, why not prioritise the checklist and choose the environmental issues that most align with the concerns you have for your area?
- Invest in brilliant and cheap public transport, while making it easier to cycle and walk everywhere.
- Stop the sale of new petrol and diesel cars within the decade.
- Aim for 100% clean energy from the wind, sun and sea.
- Stopping the generation of electricity from dirty fuels and securing a permanent ban on fracking in England.
- Take bold action to end our throwaway society and plastic pollution.
- Fund a massive insulation scheme and shifting to eco-friendly heating – ending the misery of cold, expensive-to-heat homes.
- Double tree cover and letting wildlife thrive because our land is too precious to be given over to intensive farming.
- Oppose projects that fuel climate breakdown, like airport expansion.
- Pay the UK’s fair share to support more vulnerable countries to cut carbon pollution and deal with the impacts of climate breakdown.
Climate action pledge
The important outcome you should focus on is asking candidates at the end of the meeting if they agree to our climate action pledge:
"I’ll make the climate crisis a deal-breaker in how I vote in Parliament. I’ll vote to support measures that help us rapidly cut greenhouse gas emissions and build a fairer and greener society."
Ask candidates if they’re OK with us making that information public, and then take a photo with the printable sign. Make sure to post the photo on social media using the hashtag #TakeClimateAction and report their pledge to us using our survey.
If the candidates decline to support the climate action pledge then still take a photo with them, but don't use the printable sign.
Before your meeting
Decide who's going. A minimum of two people from the group should attend to ensure that one person can take notes while the other speaks.
Get familiar with the agenda. You'll have seen above that we've provided you with a climate action checklist to help frame your discussions. Be sure to personalise the checklist so you’re able to chat about local climate action, as well as action that can be taken within the Senedd and in Westminster.
Print your climate action pledge sign ready for your photo with candidates and the checklist to talk through in the meeting. You might want to do some research beforehand to check if the candidate has made any previous statements on climate breakdown.
You might want to do some research beforehand to check if the candidate has made any previous statements on climate breakdown. If you need help with gathering local data about your area, check out our postcode lookup tool which tells you how climate friendly your community is.
Structure of the meeting
Introduce yourself and the group to the candidate. Don’t expect them to remember who you are and why you’re meeting them.
If appropriate, establish as early as you can how much time you have.
Re-establish what you wanted to raise and ask if there’s anything they want to raise.
Discuss the climate action checklist. This should take up most of the meeting.
Ask the candidate if they would agree to our climate action pledge and if that information can be used publicly. If they agree, take a photo with the printable sign. If they decline, still ask to take a photo with them but don't include the sign.
Close the meeting with thanks and a run-through of any action points agreed.
After your meeting
Let us know what your candidates said during the meeting and if they took the pledge by filling in our survey. This way we’ll be able to build a national picture of what politicians are saying, and help you hold them to account for any pledges they made to you.
Post your photos on social media using the hashtag #TakeClimateAction. If you’re struggling to meet with other candidates, tagging them could encourage them to meet with you too. When posting the photo, make it clear whether the candidate took the climate pledge or not.