Or so says a “confidential” consultation document which is currently being distributed among the broad coalition of environmental and development campaign groups known as Stop Climate Chaos (SCC).
The document, entitled “Stop Climate Chaos campaigning overview 2013-16” (below), is interesting on many levels, not least because it implies the “climate movement” is preparing for a significant gear change after a period of relative dormancy – in public perception, at least – since the disappointment of the Copenhagen climate summit in late 2009.
We haven’t heard too much from SCC since that time – it tells me it has been “focusing on community work”, its “Green is working” campaign and activity related to the energy bill and the fourth carbon budget – but it is certainly noteworthy that a coalition that includes Friends of the Earth, Oxfam, Greenpeace, WWF-UK, Christian Aid, RSPB, Tearfund,CAFOD, and UK Youth Climate Coalition is now preparing to scale up its activities once more. With a “combined supporter base of more than 11 million people span[ning] over 100 organisations“, it’s hard to think of a larger collective of “climate concerned” campaigners.
You can read the three-page document in full for yourself [at the Guardian’s link above], but the first page sums up the multi-strand strategy:
Responding to the importance of decisions to be taken in 2014 and 2015, the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition is developing plans to build up the climate movement in the UK over the next three years by ramping up public campaigning on climate change. This will include a number of high profile public mobilisations to visibly display the strength of the climate movement, whilst investing in grassroots engagement to help strengthen personal and community links with climate issues. This work will be shaped around political hooks but will be bigger than any one political moment. It will increase in momentum and scale towards 2015 and beyond, and will run alongside engagement of the six public constituency groups. Work is likely to include:
National Mobilisation to ‘relaunch’ the climate movement, Early Spring 2014: This will focus on mass public engagement and will support targeted policy work by individual organisations. Media around the second and third IPCC reports will provide increased public awareness of climate change during this period.
Building community engagement in climate issues, ongoing 2014: The Spring 2014 ‘relaunch’ will be built on by work to increase engagement in climate change issues at a community level. A national focus for local campaigning will be provided in September 2014 by the UN Global Leaders’ Summit, followed by a ramping up in community engagement through to the 2015 national mobilisation.
General Election campaigning, ongoing 2014: Mass engagement in community climate work will run parallel to targeted campaigning in key marginal constituencies throughout 2014 up to the General Election. Led by different coalition organisations, these efforts will support local climate-related campaigns, increasing engagement whilst raising the profile of climate issues in areas subject to most political scrutiny.
European Mobilisation moment, June/Sept 15: High profile UK mobilisation on climate change with business, celebrity and unusual suspect voices. This will be part of wider European public campaigning on climate change and will ensure the new UK Government engages straight away on climate change.
Next Step, March 2016: Engagement at a local level will continue after the ‘European Totaliser’ and COP21. A public mobilisation will be planned in March 2016 to provide a next step for the movement.
SCC proposes to organise campaigning work through around a combination of:
• “Gold” moments – points at which all SCC members coordinate for maximum public reach and involvement through direct and on-line engagement (gold). These are timed to coincide with key periods on the political calendar, but are moments created by the climate movement.
• Ongoing public engagement to build momentum through to 2015 and beyond (pink).
• General election strategy in key constituencies (green)
• Specific strategies around the release of the IPCC Reports (blue). A separate SCC strategy has been developed outlining plans for these moments.
From what I understand, this document has been in circulation for just over a week, although some of the broader themes have been discussed for months. Fiona Dear, the coordinator of SCC, tells me that the document contains “initial ideas” which are “subject to change” pending the on-going consultation process. She adds:
With the impacts of climate change being felt all over the world, and a series of critical political decisions coming up in the UK, Europe, and at a global level, civil society organisations are developing plans to increase the profile and scale of our campaigns against carbon pollution.
This significant increase in volume could be described as a re-launch, but it is unlikely to take the form of a new commonly branded campaign – rather, the strength of our coalition lies in the many household names and community-based groups involved working with their supporters to push climate change up the agenda.
We are planning work in marginal constituencies that will build on our 2010 Ask the Climate Question campaign, which sought to raise the profile of climate change in marginals in the run up to the last general election. We worked then with the Charities Commission and theElectoral Commission to ensure our work was non-party political. The work in the run up to 2015 will be based on the same non-partisan principles.
Do you think the strategy is correct? Are there any omissions? Please post your views below.