Fossil Free Organising Principles

How we organise and work together to build people power to create a Fossil Free world matters.

We ask that any group wishing to affiliate with the Fossil Free network or use the Fossil Free branding or name, reads, understands, and seeks to embody these organising principles and communicate them to its members.

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We are a global movement of citizens working to address the climate crisis. We are global citizens organising to transform our local communities. Working in solidarity across languages and continents, we form a powerful worldwide network united by our common humanity and our commitment to solving the climate crisis.

We strive to build an inclusive and empowering movement. From the local to the international, we are open and receptive to new ideas and initiatives, foster broad participation and collective decision-making at all levels of organising processes, and empower new leaders. From faith groups to business leaders to schools and more, we work with a diversity of groups and individuals because we urgently need everybody’s ideas and commitment to create the change we need. The relationships we build with one another and partner groups; the leadership we grow; and the stories we tell are all part of building our people power – this is key to how we create change.

We work across movements, with justice at the core. We recognise the linkages between issues of climate justice, economic justice, racial justice, gender equality, workers rights and more, and strive to build a movement that works in common cause with allies for shared impact.

We stand in solidarity with communities most impacted by climate change and fossil fuels. Many of these communities are the least protected from climate change, due to historical inequalities, and the most impacted by it. We support their demands for their survival, and the rights of future generations.

We are committed to real action, not just talk. We’re built on collective brilliance, not on individual personalities. There’s no place for ego in organising, and we say “yes” as much as possible (while respecting our limits). We strive to stay flexible, nimble and to do a lot with few resources, so we can focus on taking action to serve our communities.

We think and act to scale with the problem. Thinking big and being ambitious is how we inspire people to get involved and act with the necessary urgency.

Creativity is the touchstone of our work. Through symbols, art and creative actions, we help visualise both the problems and the solutions to climate change. Creative ways of communicating often speak more directly to our hearts, and provide a beautiful reminder of what we strive to protect.

As organisers, we connect with the heart and soul as much as we connect with the brain. The climate crisis is an ethical issue; taking action in a meaningful way brings moral weight to our work and deepens our commitment to the cause and each other. Through this connection we are better able to cope with our dramatically changing planet, and imagine the world we want to build.

Any movement that isn’t fun isn’t worth being a part of. We dance, sing, eat, play and tell jokes together because it lifts our spirit, gives us hope, and keeps us motivated for the many challenges (and victories) ahead of us on the road to a sustainable, clean energy future.

We creatively use technology to support organising in the real world. We realise technology is not a replacement for real relationships or time-tested organising techniques, but it allows us to see, understand and act in solidarity with our brothers and sisters facing climate change around the world; we are a community linked by technology.

We’re not experts, but we know enough about the climate crisis and the fossil fuel industry to speak the truth. We keep up with the science, economics, and the politics as best we can, but we also know we don’t need to know every bit of information to stand up for our future. Speaking the truth on science and injustice is both our responsibility and our most effective strategy.

While science is important, stories make our movement powerful, and human. We all have our own compelling stories, and communicate with stories to gain mass media coverage, to multiply our movement, and to reaffirm our common humanity. Whether it’s a lone brave protester in Iraq, or a community coming together to stop a coal plant in Kenya or fracking in Brazil, shared stories inspire our movement.

We use non-violent means to achieve change. We are committed to nonviolence, inspired by the spirit of Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and other peaceful movements before us. No violence, no property damage. In the face of the climate crisis, fossil fuel extraction, and the repressive practices of the governments and corporations that benefit, we recognize strategic nonviolence as the most effective means of creating a just and healthy world.

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Fossil Free Organising Principles

As a representative for our group, I acknowledge that we have read, understood and agree to embody the Fossil Free organising principles in the way we organise locally and in solidarity with others globally to create a Fossil Free world.

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