Pick a Target & Build a Team

We’re all connected to institutions that shouldn’t be supporting the fossil fuel industry — whether it’s your place of worship, your university or your local town government, there’s help and support to start a campaign at an institution close to you.



Overview The basics of divestment campaigns Step 1 Pick a Target & Build a Team Step 2 Start a Petition & Plan your Campaign Step 3 Get Active & Build Power Step 4 Engage your Decision Makers
Step 5 Turn up the Heat Step 6 Stay Connected Step 7 Win! Resources Tips, Guides, Factsheets and more Divestment Arguments Reasons to Divest

Picking your target

Local government

Your local municipality is often responsible for managing and investing large sums of money – either directly, or through the pension funds that they offer their employees.

Universities & Colleges

Facebook avatarMany European universities continue to invest their endowments and funds in fossil fuel companies. They also support the industry through the research they do and through partnerships with some of the worst-offending companies. Students, staff and alumni are taking action all over Europe and you can find more information and helpful advice and resources specifically for students through People & Planet.

Faith institutions

churchOfEngland_2435256bAcross the world faith groups have been helping lead the way on fossil fuel divestment. They were among the first to show moral leadership and divest, but many continue to invest in ways that contradict their ethics.

Efforts are underway tackling many faiths and denominations, including the Catholic Church. What about your local place of worship?

Health institutions

fossilfreehealth-redcross-crop-colour-1024x750Climate change is the ‘public health challenge of our time’ according to many in the medical community. Several national medical associations have divested and doctors can be powerful advocates for action on climate change if they speak out and cut public ties with the fossil fuel industry. See Fossil Free Health 

Other institutions

Trusts and foundations, charities and other organisations are also committing to divest. Divest:Invest focus on the philanthropic sector, and all other organisations committing to divest will be added to the divestment commitments and celebrated if you let us know.

Build a team

Building a campaign team is important, but it’s ok to start small. Get people you know together and ask around groups working on similar issues in your area for people who might be interested.

Divestment Campaigners’ Top tips:

Who better to take advice from than those already campaigning to divest their local authorities from fossil fuels? Here we share their top tips for building a strong team:

  • Have an agenda for the first meeting. Lay out what information you’ve got and make sure there’s time for people to introduce themselves and why they’re there.
  • Building the trust and friendship between team members helps us work together, so make time to get to know each other. Socials are good.
  • Understanding what people’s skills and interests are is important, and a diversity of skills and experience will help the campaign.
  • Internal email lists, Facebook groups, Slack channels or a shared dropbox, google-drive or online tasks dashboard can be useful for communications between meetings.
  • Regular meetings are important to keep up momentum.
  • Different people will be able to have different levels of involvement, and it’s important to cater for that – not everyone has to come to every meeting.
  • Some groups use consensus decision making techniques to ensure that everyone in the group is listened to.

on to Step 2 →