Start or join a campaign to call on your local authority, university, place of worship, or local business to pledge to transition fast and fairly to 100% renewable energy for all.
How this campaign will win
Solar panels can power a building, but it takes communities to power change. By connecting our efforts and telling the story of our clean energy future, we can build the fairer neighbourhoods we want to see, and make local and national governments follow our lead.
We are campaigning from the grassroots up to the national and global level. Here’s an overview of how it works at each level.
First: Your neighbourhood/city
Local people working together in their neighbourhood push local institutions to pledge to 100% renewable energy, and call on local and national politicians to support it.
Then: Your country
Push for legislation or policy changes for 100% renewable, accessible, fair energy for all.
Finally: The world
Local groups and institutions across the world joining forces at key coordinated moments, creating the urgent momentum for the global energy transition.
How can I accelerate the switch to renewable energy for all?
Map out if you know of any local community institutions that have committed to renewable energy or taken steps to use renewable energy. Identify any institutions that you and your community think would be symbolically powerful to move to renewable energy.
It could be an organisation that is prominent in your local area and has links to a constituency of local people. Examples include local councils, transport authorities, places of worship, universities, schools, and local businesses…but you choose who to approach!
Design your campaign to get a key local institution to pledge – these campaigns will be different depending on the institution you choose and what barriers they face in deciding to commit to fair renewable energy. (full campaign guide coming soon!)
Alternately, if you are certain that decision makers where you live will resist your demands, you could consider one way of asserting maximum pressure by running a community survey of the local population to gauge and publicise the level of popular support for renewable energy and your Fossil Free demands.
What is 100% renewable energy?
It means not only 100% renewable electrical power generation, but also 100% renewable energy for transport (cars, buses, trucks, trains and planes!), and 100% renewable energy for heating our homes and businesses, too!
Achieving 100% renewable ‘total energy’ – for power, transport and heat – will require us to reduce unsustainable demand (overconsumption), as well as increasing energy efficiency, and shifting our transport and heating systems from liquid and gas fuels to electrical power.
Projects that are both low carbon and have low environmental and social impacts, such as solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, and some forms of sustainable biomass and small-scale hydro are common sources of clean, just renewable energy.
What does it mean to achieve a fast and just transition to 100% renewable energy?
We believe in a world with a healthy climate and equitable economy.
A fair transition to 100% renewable energy for all will increase community-control of energy, energy affordability, respect rights especially of communities and workers most impacted, and hold polluters accountable.
We don’t want to leave anyone behind in the transition of our energy system, especially the millions of people around the world without adequate access to electricity today and those living in energy poverty.
We demand that governments commit to retrain and rehire workers, make clean energy jobs accessible to everyone, and ensure that communities who have had to bear the brunt of climate change and dirty fossil fuel projects are given economic opportunities and the resources they need to recover from climate impacts.
What about renewable energy that also harms people or ecosystems?
It’s true that some corporations are taking advantage of the increasing popularity of renewable energy to push projects that unjustly displace people, harm critical ecosystems, or put profit before the rights and democratic voice of our communities. That’s where the fair part of this transition comes in. We don’t want to simply replace one unjust energy system with another – even if cleaner. See above what we mean by a fair (just) transition.
By when should we get to 100% renewable energy?
The short answer: As soon as possible.
Climate change is already happening and people are already losing their lives, homes and way of life. Every bit the planet warms further is bad, and the truth is we don’t yet know just how bad the consequences could be.
The good news is that from our homes, places of worship, companies, and government buildings, to buses and our smart phones, clean energy is not only possible – in many places it’s already happening. It is not only a question of technical potential but of political will and corporate interests now.
This transition should have happened 25 years ago. Too often targets that are being set to move to 100% renewable energy are not ambitious enough. Only a minority of wealthy interests and corporations stand in our way. With the climate crisis unfolding all around us, we need to race towards this goal as fast as possible, harnessing when we’re at our best and most powerful.
We know for some low income countries this pace must be fair to them, and funded by those that have done the most to create it. But the countries that are in a position to transition sooner, have the responsibility to do so and help drive ambition up everywhere.
There is nothing pragmatic about ignoring the threat of climate change. The only realistic plan is one ambitious enough to match the scale of the crisis, and to transform our society for the better in the process.