13 May 2020
The coronavirus pandemic is requiring an unprecedented response from our NHS, essential services and government at all levels.
At the moment, the UK government and local governments –both elected officials and staff – are prioritising dealing with the immediate health crisis, and we should allow them space to respond to the pandemic and support our communities.
Therefore, we ask that you only campaign on issues that are urgent or that are of particular importance at this time.
For example, you may want to respond to emerging council plans that are concerning for the climate. Or perhaps campaign on timely issues such as active travel.
But please do so recognising the strain many services are currently under. And make sure to communicate sensitively to decision makers and your own community.
When the time is right, we'll look to fully resume our engagement with decision makers to build a fairer, healthier and sustainable future for all.
Your group can still have meetings throughout this time – you’ll just need to move them online. There are lots of tools you can use to do this, but we recommend Zoom. Read our guide on how to use Zoom and learn how to facilitate successful online meetings.
Research and reading
Now may be a good time to research all those things you’ve never found time to do before. Why not find out if and how your local council has committed to tackle climate breakdown? Or get up to speed on some of the key environmental issues? Or even grab a cuppa and dive in to one of our recommended books or films? Your group could pick a different topic to research each week and come together online to chat about it.
Craftivism – activism through craft – is a great way to keep your campaigning going from home, while also offering a mindful activity to support your wellbeing. Could you and your fellow group members create something individually at home – for example a message sewn in to a handkerchief – which could be posted to your political targets when the time is right? Get ideas from the wonderful Craftivist Collective.
Create campaigning resources
Your group could spend this time creating resources which will be ready when you're back to public campaigning. You could create new leaflets to help advertise your group, give your social media platforms or website a makeover, create short videos explaining more about what your group is pushing for, or use Action Network to create an online petition or build your mailing list.
Connect with other groups
Connect with Climate Action Groups across the country to share ideas, trouble shoot problems and support each other through these tough times. The best way to connect is with Slack, and if you’ve never used Slack before have a quick read of our guide to get you started.
Now may be a good time for your group to step back and reassess its plans for the year. Not only because you may have more time on your hands, but also because the context has changed so dramatically. You may want to think about how you’ll maintain community relationships after the coronavirus crisis and how you’ll frame climate action in the context of a potential economic downturn.
If you have questions about your campaigning in the context of coronavirus, ask us on Slack or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org