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Climate Mobilisation 2015-16 Survey – a summary of key findings​

A. Respondents:
Anglican Alliance; Association taca (agir pour le climat); Australian Medical Students’ Association; Avaaz; AwazCDS; Bolivian Platform on Climate Change; CAN Canada; CAN-France; Catholics for Climate Justice (working title); Christian Aid; CIDSE; Climate Express; CSYM TECDEN Mtandao Forum on Climate Change; End Ecocide on Earth; Fossil Free South Africa; General Agricultural Workers Union of TUC; ITUC; Natural Resources Defense Council; Oxfam; PASUMAI THAAYAGAM Foundation; Save the Children (part of action/2015); SustainUS; Tearfund; The Climate Coalition UK; The Climate Reality Project; Uganda Environmental Education Foundation (UEEF); UK Youth Climate Coalition; World Council of Churches; World Team Now. Contributions to the survey were also made by groups who met at the Bonn UNFCCC Intersessional in October including Greenpeace, WWF,,

B. Summary of key findings
The views coming through suggest that success in our mobilisation efforts through the coming months will mean that by April 2016 the movement is both stronger and broader; that we have achieved the biggest climate mobilisation in history and that national campaigns on climate change have resulted in real progress on the ground. Some groups are clear that our mobilisation will have focused beyond the UNFCCC process itself, while others are also keen to have influenced the outcomes of the Paris agreement in such a way that countries have actually started implementing it.

There is clear support for a major June 2015 moment, with the objectives of a) changing political conditions in key countries and b) building the movement. It therefore makes sense for this to be ‘decentralised’ to key capitals/cities (rather than focusing only on one single location). Most groups stressed that a national focus is key to them. (We should therefore consider planning actions appropriate to national contexts with a top line, nationally adjustable narrative and different frames that can be activated for different audiences. We can seek unifying tactics to make it clear we are all part of the same ‘big thing’). The G7 will be an important hook for some groups / countries at this time.

For the moment of the December Paris COP itself, views coming through conclude that the purpose of mobilisation at that moment is a) shame / champion key leaders from politics and business b) expose the role of big business in influencing politics. Various groups express the objective of ensuring the biggest climate mobilisation in history. There are currently different views about the framing of the moment in terms of extent to which it is UNFCCC specific (some groups want it to be a ‘verdict’ moment; others want the mobilisation to focus beyond the UN process)

In addition to these two key moments for the movement to come together in 2015, there will be a drumbeat through the year of ongoing moments / campaigns highlighting the need to act on climate from a whole range of perspectives. We need to aggregate globally the struggles that happen at the local level, every day, everywhere, where different parts of the movement are represented.

In terms of key issues some groups plan to frame their climate work around the transformation of our energy system (fossil fuel phase out/just transition to 100% renewable energy) whereas others specified specific aspects/frames (health, jobs, justice etc.) according to their expertise and their audiences (e.g. youth groups, faith groups etc.). Across the movement, we will focus on a wide range of countries

There is consensus that we must plan to come together as a movement in 2016 to show that we are stronger than ever and to avoid the (perceived) lull in climate activism following Copenhagen in 2009. The type of action for 2016 is not yet clear and may vary – reflecting the diversity of our movement

There is clear consensus that it is helpful to continue light coordination of our efforts through an established email list; regular coordination calls and face-to-face sessions at key international meetings (without excluding groups who can’t travel and respecting space already established by French groups)

C. Question responses in more detail

2. What are the key outcomes that mobilisation efforts of the climate movement should seek to achieve at different moments in the coming months up until mid 2016
Through 2015, in the months leading up to Paris
The key outcome indicated by the majority of groups is to change political conditions in key countries (17), closely followed by the need to strengthen and widen the climate movement (14). A handful of respondents said that we seeking to expose the role of big business (4) and establish Paris as a key moment to publics (3) influence National Offers / INDCs (4+). There were also specific responses to call for a Fossil Fuel phase-out (2), seek a long-term goal (1), share IPCC reports (1), establish CC as a health issue (1)

At the moment of the Paris UN Climate Negotiations in Dec 2015
Many groups pointed to the need to shame / champion key leaders from politics and business (7); expose the role of big business in influencing politics (7). Some groups think we should offer a verdict on the outcome of the talks themselves (5) while others state that we must avoid focussing purely on the UNFCCC process (4). There is clear expression of the need to ensure a stronger, wider climate movement out of Paris moment (5). Other responses included the need for energy reform (1); to position CC as a health issue (1); push for radical action / general strike (1); reject the deal (1)

In the first quarter of 2016
The clear message from responses is that we must focus mobilisation efforts in 2016 on strengthening the movement (12). The issue / area of focus for that mobilisation is less clear at this stage. Common responses include the need to influence the political conditions in specific countries (including elections) (5) and on implementing / ratification of any deal agreed in Paris (4). Respondents point to the need for a positive narrative / vision in 2016 (3); focus on just energy transition (2); finance; fossil fuel phase-out (1)

3. Looking back in, say, April 2016 how will we know our mobilisation efforts on climate change have been successful?
The movement will be stronger, energised and seeking new opportunties beyond the specifics of Paris moment (12) and that the movement is broader, having reached wider audiences (4). We have witnessed the biggest climate mobilisation in history (5). The Paris agreement is a success and is being implemented by countries (8). There is progress on specific national climate related campaigns / fights (5)
Other responses include the fact that unions have been mobilised (1); role of big business exposed (1); carbon price is implemented (1); climate finance is forthcoming (1) govs have cut fossil fuel subsidies (1)

4. Are there specific issues your organisation plans to focus on in mobilising publics on climate change in 2015-16? What are they?
All groups will mobilise on climate change issues, and within that will focus on a range of different aspects tailored to their expertise and / or prime audience. The most common responses were nationally specific campaigns (8); fossil fuel phase out / just transition to renewable energy (6); justice (5); faith (4);. Other issues that we will mobilise around include adaptation, finance, lifestyles, jobs, youth, health, carbon pricing, tech transfer, response to weather events.

5. Are there actions others than marches that you believe publics would mobilise around and which can have impact?
Respondents highlighted a wide range of tactics in terms of actions that have impact, which reflects the need to devise decentralised actions which are appropriate to regional / national contexts. High impact actions mentioned include online / social media (5); letter writing and direct political lobby by supporters (4); stunts (4); cultural events / celebrations (4); strikes / blocades (3). Other tactics mentioned include faith meetings / vigils, petitions, traditional media, lifestyle actions, public figures, creative campaign actions; online platform

6. Do you have views on the specific political moments / opportunities that are important for mobilisation in 2015 and why?
It is a given that December 2015 Paris moment will be incredibly important and the most significant moment for the year as a whole (28)
There is very strong consensus also around a June moment (23), which gives time to influence the outcomes of Paris. G7 is seen as a critical opportunity (9). Other events in June of note include World Environment Day on 5th June and the International Labour Conference and EU Council.
Several groups mention the need to mobilise in Spring around the ‘national offers’ (INDCs) (7). Several groups will focus on timing of national elections (5) and other nationally specific actions (rather than focusing on the international calendar). The September UNGA will be important for some groups (6) especially linked to Action 2015 / SDGs. Other groups point to the need to speak out at moments of extreme weather events as they occur (3) and to focus on moments for specific faith groups.

Other moments mentioned include all intersessionals; Davos (Jan); Action 2015 launch (Jan 15th); The World Social Forum in Tunis (March); International Women’s Day (8th March); Alternatiba in France (September); World Food Day (Oct 16th), ‘Prayer for Creation” campaign April 2015

7. With all this in mind, which are the key dates where your organisation is considering mobilising publics on climate change through 2015-16?

8. With all this in mind, are there specific countries where your organisation is planning to focus mobilisation efforts on climate change in 2015-16? If so, which are they?
As expected, a wide variety of focus countries were mentioned by the diverse organisations that responded. The countries where a significant number of groups indicated focus include: France (9), UK (7), India (6), Brazil (5), US (7), Canada (3), South Africa (2), Kenya (2), Nigeria (2), China (2), Belgium (2)

9. Is your organization in a position to take a leadership role on a mobilization in 2015? If so, which moments and countries are you best placed to deploy resources?
Organisations were really helpful in suggesting where they might take a leadership role. Offers of leadership came through from a handful of global organisations; an offer of European activism coordination to the Paris moment; groups willing to lead on specific moments (LiveEarth; SDGs moment etc); with specific sectors of civil society (Trade Unions; Youth) and in specific countries (UK, Canada, US, Pakistan). We will follow up with those groups directly. Thank you!

10. Do you have specific views on coordination approaches that would be helpful in the coming months enabling groups to come together for strategizing and planning together in public mobilisation?

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