20 Sep 2021
What's the Global Day of Action?
The purpose of the Global Day of Action is to unite all climate activists and groups around a common goal: to demand governments and corporations limit global temperatures to 1.5°C and deliver real and just solutions to the climate crisis.
By mobilising groups and activists from across our communities, we can help make Saturday 6 November a pivotal moment and drown out the half-hearted political pledges with ambitious, justice-led demands.
This is a huge opportunity to show the strength of our groups, entice more people to join our network and support the wider movement. Will your group join in?
What can groups do?
Our network has a key role to play in making the day of action as impactful as possible. As the largest network of grassroots campaigners in the UK spread across more than 300 groups, we can add real weight to this moment and it's a great opportunity to recruit more people to the network.
Coalitions of groups are coming together to plan for demonstrations across the UK, and we'll be there to join them.
We’re calling for the UK government to end its support for fossil fuels at home and abroad, and this will be our central focus and demand during the day of action. Think about what aspects of ending fossil fuels resonates most closely with your group:
- Perhaps you’re close to one of the governments proposed sites of extraction like in Whitehaven, or near carbon-heavy infrastructure like Heathrow or the Leeds Bradford airport?
- Maybe you want to draw attention to government support for fossil fuels abroad?
- Or you're particularly troubled by the UK-funded gas plant in Mozambique and want to show solidarity?
We also want to use the moment to highlight government hypocrisy, exposing the gap between government action (or lack thereof) and the false claims of being a world leader in the fight against climate breakdown.
How to take part
There are a number of ways to take part in the Global Day of Action.
1. Organise a stunt
We're calling on groups to organise stunts that highlight government hypocrisy. The British public need to know that while the government claims to be leading the way on climate action, they're actually giving the go-ahead for new coal mines and oil fields, building new roads and runways, and funding fossil fuel extraction overseas.
Through groups using a unified message and visual prop, we'll show the strength of our network across the UK and make our collective voices heard.
We'll be providing placards with the wording "Liar Liar, the Earth's on Fire", and we'll be encouraging groups to make "flaming earth heads" to wear at their stunts, demonstrations and marches. We'll provide more guidance on how to make these, and how else you could get creative with this theme, in August.
A few things to think about when designing your stunt:
- Who's your target? This could be a local decision-maker such as a councillor or MP, a company complicit in the climate crisis, or even a bank helping to finance the crisis. Think about how this target supports, or is supported by, the UK government and its relationship to fossil fuels.
- Where's the best place to do your stunt? This might be based on what target you chose, such as outside an MPs office, or it could be based on where you can engage the most people, such as the town centre.
- Tailor your messaging. We will provide template messaging for your action, but this might need to be tailored to your local context and your local target.
- Engage the general public in your action. This is about getting the word out about your demand, but also about your group. Think about what you might need to engage the public – is there a way passers-by can participate in your stunt? How will you collect information on people interested in your campaign and follow up with them afterwards?
- Engage local media and amplify what you’re doing on social media. Send a press release to local papers beforehand and have a plan for how and what you’ll share on social media. We’ll be providing training on this to make sure you can make the most of your stunt.
- When will you do your stunt? The main demonstrations will be taking place from midday on 6 November, so you could do your stunt in the morning before the demonstration or you could plan for it to happen along the way as part of the demonstration.
We'll be running a webinar on organising a Global Day of Action stunt to help guide you in designing creative stunts and outline the different parts of a stunt that you'll need to plan for. Training will take place on 25 August.
As with all training opportunities, keep an eye on our training page.
2. Help or take part in a demo
The COP26 Coalition are calling on organisations and networks to help make the demonstrations happen. Could you help organise a demo where you live? From arranging speakers to designing the route, there’s lots of different ways to get involved.
The scale of these demonstrations will be different depending on where they are, but whether it's 100 people outside the town hall, or 100,000 marching through the streets of London, there’ll be messages to communicate and great people to meet. To help you figure out how to get as many groups as possible involved, read our guidance on local coalition building.
Alternatively, if you can't help organise can you join in on the day and get your friends and family along too? Nothing says people power like a well-attended event.
Of course we recognise that the pandemic may impact your ability or wish to take part. Do what feels most comfortable for you, and please follow all COVID measures in place on the day. For more on this please see the section COVID-19 and the need for flexibility.
Social media tips
However you get involved, spreading the word of your action far and wide will help attract support for the cause and increase our chances of growing the movement. Here's how you can spread the word on your social media channels.
- Plan your social media coverage in advance. Prepare some text beforehand and have an idea of the photos you'll need to capture to complement the posts. Make sure you appoint someone responsible for monitoring and posting on social media on the day.
- Take pictures throughout the day and share them on your social profiles, explaining what your group are doing and the demands being made around COP26.
- If you’re able to take a video, post it on your channels to give your followers a glimpse of the atmosphere. You can interview members of your groups, or just document the action from the sidelines. Read our tips on taking your own photos and videos.
- Use the hashtags #COP26, #COP26Glasgow or #ClimateTalks when posting on Twitter or Instagram. If every group does this, we've got more chance of reaching beyond the echo chamber and making the conference a real talking point among the wider public.
We'll share images and pre-written posts for you to use on social media closer to the day. If you've not yet set up social media for your group, take a look at our intro for some guidance.
Resources for the day
Please note: if you want a pack of materials in the post you need to complete the group activity survey by Friday 24 September at the very latest. The pack includes:
- 1 x large banner
- selection of posters to make into placards
- fossil fuels/ snakes and ladders game to engage the public
- template earth head.
More people = more power
We’re encouraging groups to build or join local coalitions in the run up to COP. A key way we’re going build the strength of our movement, ally with new and diverse groups and build power in our communities, is through local organising and local coalition building. It’s also crucial in making sure that the mobilisations in November are as inclusive and as powerful as possible.
Some of you may already be actively involved in coalitions, others might just be starting to reach out to others. Either way, we’re here to support you. See our guidance on finding allies to work with.
Given how big a moment COP is, this is a great opportunity to reach out to groups you might not usually get a chance to work with. By using climate justice framing, we’ll be able to more easily draw the connections between struggles and across groups of people. You could reach out to groups campaigning on gender justice given how disproportionately the impacts of climate breakdown are on women around the world. Or to networks supporting asylum seekers and migrants given how the climate crisis is causing people to flee their homes.
The COP26 Coalition are supporting local coalition hubs to get set up, and these hubs will bring together diverse groups to prepare for the Global Day of Action. Some local hubs are already up and running and ready for you to get stuck in. In other areas the Coalition is supporting groups to get the ball rolling. You can find out more about local hubs on their website, as well as a list of hubs already set up and guidance on getting things going.
COVID-19 and the need for flexibility
We don’t know how the pandemic will play out between now and November. We’re hopeful that we can take to the streets, but if there are greater restrictions on in-person gatherings or if things don’t feel safe or accessible, we’ll need to be flexible and respond quickly.
We’ve tried to take uncertainty and safety into consideration when drawing up the strategy for the mobilisations in November. Putting all resources into getting everyone to Glasgow doesn’t feel right, and that’s why our priority is for distributed actions across the country as part of the Global Day of Action. This is where we can have the greatest impact while staying safe. And this approach hopefully allows us more flexibility to adapt local stunts and demonstrations if we need to.
The COP26 Coalition are working hard to make sure that demonstrations, both in Glasgow and around the country, are safe and accessible for participants and are in line with regional and national guidance. Please make sure to adhere to the guidelines on how to participate in each demonstration. And if you're hosting your own stunts or actions, please make sure to follow our guidance on in-person activity.