Key talking points

Useful messaging guidelines for local campaigning work

13 Jun 2019

When you’re reaching out to people to talk about climate change and about your climate action group, it can be hard to know where to start or how to talk about it.

Below are some general messaging guidelines and suggestions around different areas, in case it’s helpful for any of your local campaigning work:

Talking about the problem

We're facing a climate emergency. The biggest threat to our very existence and too much of the natural world we’ve ever seen. And the window of opportunity to act and stave off all but the worst impacts of climate change, is closing. What we do in the next few years will determine the future of our world. We still have time to act, and we know what the solutions look like – we just have to work together to build them.

And yet our leaders are letting us down – from filling the skies with more planes, to backing fracking in the UK and funding oil and gas projects abroad. The solutions to the climate crisis are out there and they don't look like this.

Talking about the solutions

Instead we want to see communities where children can play outside and breathe in clean air, warm homes that don’t cost the earth to heat, access to nature wherever we live, better food that’s good for us and greener jobs for everyone.

That’s why we’re calling on the UK government to urgently adopt our Climate Action Plan which will rapidly cut greenhouse gas emissions and build a greener and fairer country.

By the end of 2020 we want a commitment to:

Transport: Stop the sale of petrol and diesel cars within the decade. Invest in brilliant and cheap public transport, cycling and walking everywhere.

Power: Stop making electricity from dirty fuels and ban fracking. Start aiming for 100% clean energy from the wind, sun and sea.

Buildings: End the misery of cold, expensive-to-heat homes. Fund a massive insulation scheme and shift to eco-friendly heating.

Agriculture and Land Use: Stop using our land for intensive farming. Double tree cover and let wildlife thrive.

Infrastructure: Stop backing projects that fuel climate change, like airport expansion. Start making climate change a deal-breaker in all spending decisions.

International Justice: Stop funding fossil fuels globally. Pay its fair share to support more-vulnerable countries to cut carbon pollution and deal with the impacts of climate change.

We’re also calling for local governments to commit to local climate action plans – you can find out more about this here.

Why people should get involved

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any.” – Alice Walker

But we have the power to save our futures if we act together. The most effective thing we can do at the moment is be agents for change together locally, nationally and internationally.

Not only is it within our grasp to create the world we want to see – it is our right. Already, people across the country and across the world have recognised the climate emergency and are taking action – on the streets, where they work, in their homes and in their communities. They are already building the future we want to see – will you join them?

“There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.” – Margaret Wheatley

How we will change things together

Climate change is a global problem with local solutions. Communities around the UK are taking the lead where our government isn’t – from school children going on strike, to building our own clean, affordable community energy systems, passing climate-based council motions and generally creating greener, fairer communities where people and nature can thrive.

The most powerful thing we can do to solve the climate emergency is to join in, working together locally to make change happen. By transforming the local, we will not only start building the better future we need, but together Climate Action Groups will form a movement so powerful that our leaders will be forced to act. In this way local climate action groups will play an essential role in achieving the big system change we need to see to stop climate change.

Climate Action Groups

We want to help channel the current surge of action and energy around climate change into real, tangible solutions. Climate action groups are forming in communities right across the UK to build climate-friendly communities and create pressure for the big system changes we urgently need.

Climate action groups bring people together from all parts of society, including a range of existing groups, united by their desire to stop climate change. These groups develop plans for their communities to tackle climate change. These plans can involve working with a mix of councils, local businesses and wider community groups and encourage local decision makers to agree plans for fairer, greener communities.

Climate action groups are also actively building climate solutions in their own communities, from planting trees and encouraging cleaner transport and better homes, to fighting fossil fuel extraction and dirty air – they work on whatever feels right for them and their community at the time.

Climate action groups can access support from Friends of the Earth including resources, tools and training to support their local campaigns, as well as having opportunities to participate in big moments of national unity and power, where we amplify our local wins and join forces across the country to push through big, urgent system change.

If you need a short summary for online use:

Climate action groups across the UK are building practical climate solutions and creating fairer, greener communities. Together, this climate action network is driving a national climate plan for the big changes we urgently need.

How to take part

This is a chance for you to promote your own climate action group to people and share the ways to get involved:

  • Do you have a meeting they can join? How do they register/find out about this?
  • Do you have a petition to sign or a list they can sign up to?
  • Do you have a Facebook group?
  • Are you on Slack?
  • Where can they find you?

People can join the broader climate action movement by: