The fossil fuel divestment movement is rapidly expanding around the world. Successful campaigns can take many forms, but we’ve found that many follow similar principles and key phases towards victory.
This guide will provide some tips and tools to set up your own divestment campaign, as well as how to make your campaign as powerful and effective as possible.
Remember: every campus is different, so what it takes to win will look different too. These phases should serve as guideposts, not formulaic steps. Your campaign will probably jump back and forth, or repeat phases. Organizing doesn’t always follow a straight line, and it’s up to you to create the path that works best for your campaign.
And don’t forget — there are people here to help and a global movement behind you to cheer you along.
Fossil fuel companies are the wealthiest and most powerful corporations on the planet — and their core business model threatens all of us. For decades, they’ve corrupted our governments, ravaged our planet, and treated the atmosphere like an open sewer. We need to take back the power the fossil fuel industry has over society.
Divestment takes the fossil fuel industry to task for its culpability in the climate crisis. By shifting public support away from the fossil fuel industry, we can break the hold that they have on our economy and our governments, while making way for a just transition.
Change happens when people mobilize and take action. When we build movements, we don’t focus on one person at the top of the government or the industry. We focus on building and leveraging power in all our communities, so it’s no longer in decision-makers’ interest to say “no.”
Campaigns aren’t just about winning a “yes” on divestment. They’re about telling the story of people power against the fossil fuel industry. Getting a “yes” on divestment is a big part of that, but creating tension at a school that might be unlikely to divest tells that story, too.
By dismantling the fossil fuel industry’s social license, we can break the hold they have over our economy and governments, make way for community-led solutions to the crisis, achieve strong climate legislation, and shift the paradigm on fossil fuel dependency.