As we enter this new decade, we know some things must change – but we also know that we’re more committed than ever to finally break the power of the fossil fuel industry.
We asked ourselves: where do we want to focus the power and energy of our campaigning? Which of the many paths before us do we take together? What do we need to win, other than each other?
Close to 5,000 of us took the 350.org 2020 supporter survey to help our European team make strategic choices, understand where our collective energy is right now, and what we need to improve to give each one of us the opportunity to get as involved as we can, or choose to.
Take a look at some of the results below!
How hopeful are you about the climate movement’s work to stop climate breakdown?
We seem to be divided in (almost) equal parts between having little to no hope (33%), feeling moderately to very hopeful (31%), and sitting somewhere in between (36%). Fair enough: the future can sometimes seem bleak or uncertain. Wherever you are on this scale, the best antidote for hopelessness is taking action with others – and there’s still so much we can do together.
How effective do you think 350.org is in engaging you in strategic campaigns and organising to address the climate crisis?
Good news: more than half of us (52%) think 350 is either effective or very effective in engaging our supporters in campaigns for climate justice, though we have a lot of space to improve. Our commitment: we will keep intervening together when we can help shift things, make marginalised voices and struggles visible, or where our collective pressure can have an impact.
Which of these activities or campaigns do you associate the most with 350?
Campaigning for institutions to divest from fossil fuels is still 350’s most recognisable campaign (identified by 78% of us). We’re recognised both for our online work, and for opposing fossil fuel infrastructure projects on the ground. We have some more work to do to better visibilise our organising efforts, and the support we offer to a network of local groups and activists.
Which of these possible campaigns or activities do you find interesting?
Here, we asked 350 supporters to rate 7 campaign and activity ideas from “not at all interesting” to “extremely interesting”.
Local level campaigns to stop the largest and most dangerous fossil fuel developments:
Mobilising communities and pushing governments to accelerate the transition to a renewable energy economy:
Pressuring banks and governments to cut off financing for fossil fuel projects:
Supporting big global mobilisations like the climate strikes:
Building intersectional coalitions for climate justice, including coalitions with economic, gender, racial and migrant justice groups, and others:
Demanding accountability and reparations from fossil fuel companies:
Campaigning to get fossil fuel lobbyists out of politics:
A majority of us appear to feel at least somewhat excited about most of our potential focus areas – that’s great! In particular, we feel that continued work on fossil finance, and pulling money away from fossil fuels, should be our strategic focus (“extremely interesting” for 70% of us). That’s very much in line with what our team has been thinking and we now feel even more certain that we need to double down on our fossil finance work.
Other areas with more than the average number of “extremely interested” people are working towards fossil free politics by cutting off fossil lobbyists’ access to politicians, and promoting successful solutions to the climate crisis, to accelerate the transition to a renewable-run economy. Stigmatising and toxifying the coal, oil and gas giants is high on our list, and we’ll be exploring how to help kick polluters out of politics and international negotiations. And those of us interested in climate solutions should look into the Green New Deal work we’re developing with partners in the UK.
At the same time, we are commited to campaigning for climate justice – and now more than ever that means reaching out beyond the “usual suspects” and building coalitions and partnerships with allies in other justice movements. We must do it, because we recognise that to have a chance to address the climate crisis, we need to look at the underlying causes and injustices: an economic system based on inequity and exploitation of people and nature, and a social system which discriminates and oppresses groups of people based e.g. on their gender, their race or ethnicity, or their access to education. Thanks to the results of the survey, we now know that we need to make this work more visible, more concrete, and more engaging.
On a scale from 1 to 5 how confident would you feel in explaining what 350.org does?
33% have no or little confidence in being able to explain 350’s work, compared with 28% who feel confident or very confident, and 39% sitting in the middle. What does this mean for our work? We definitely need to get better at introducing our community to the campaigns we’re running in different parts of Europe!
Do you know what our name stands for?
To be fair, we expected this one. The 350 in our name stands for 350 ppm (parts per million) of carbon dioxide, which has been identified as the safe upper limit to avoid a climate tipping point. Humanity passed this threshold back in 1988. As of 2020, the current level has reached 414 ppm CO2.
Which of the following activities are you most excited about participating in to support our movement for climate justice?
Among the top 7 of ways we want to take action for climate justice, number one is engaging in campaigns online and sharing climate justice content on social media. Interestingly, almost half of us are ready to take disruptive action to demand that banks or companies stop fuelling the fire of climate breakdown, and 22% of us are even prepared to take part in civil disobedience. Great – stay tuned for opportunities to make these declarations into reality! And in line with what we now know about our willingness to get involved in election campaigning, we’re working out ways to engage with the upcoming local election in France.
How could we better help you to contribute to the climate movement? What guidance, support or resources do you need from us?
We are eager to hear about real, tried and tested solutions to the urgent climate crisis – this comes through strongly, with 74% of us asking for more stories and information. Between our work for a fair and ambitious Green New Deal, organising for local resolutions in Germany and amplifying the work of movements across Europe and the world on bringing about a renewable energy revolution, who knows: maybe next year, more of us will report feeling hopeful about the work of the climate justice movement.
Huge thanks to everyone who took the time to fill the survey and share their thoughts!
Are you in this for the long run?
Our work relies on small donations from our supporters and community members across the world. It’s thanks to you that we can stay flexible and independent, and keep challenging those in power.