Deliver Your Photos - Multiply Your Impact
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On 24 October, 2009, we collectively made a big impact with over 5,200 rallies in 181 countries. We were front page news from Mexico to Pakistan, and the top news story on Google that day. Now it is time to make sure that decision-makers have heard our call, by bringing the message directly to them. This guide will help you take your photos from the day of climate action and make sure they reach your leaders.
First, download and print the photo delivery pack. Then, create your customized photo fliers by using our easy flier creator.
Who should you deliver your photos to?
Delivering your photos doesn't need to be a huge affair. But, to have maximum impact, you need to choose the right people to influence. At 350.org, our main targets are the United Nations climate negotiators -- those men and women who go to international meetings to negotiate on behalf of their countries. They important to influence, but they often don't make decisions themselves. Often, it's ministers, presidents, representatives, senators, MPs and other elected officials who define the country positions. Depending on who you are meeting with, your approach and specific detailed request will be different, but your core "ask" will be the same: Take the steps necessary to ensure a future planet with CO2 levels below 350 parts per million. Below is a list of potential officials you can engage:
State-level government and ministry officials
Environment and/or Energy Ministers
Ambassadors to the United Nations
Delegates to the United Nations climate talks
Ambassadors from other countries (especially US, EU, Canada and Australia)
Members of Parliament (MPs)
Members of European Parliamant (MEPs)
Below are a few ideas for how to bring the message of October 24th directly to your leaders - talk it through with your local group or coalition to decide what is most strategic.
How should you deliver your photos?
A meeting with your delegation or environment minister
Each country that is party to the UNFCCC has a national focal point on climate change, and often a full delegation that will travel to Copenhagen. Their contact information is public and they are representing you, so give them a call and ask for a meeting to show them what you did on October 24th, and that a lot of citizens are counting on them to do the right thing in Copenhagen. To figure out whether it's best to meet with your delegation to Copenhagen, environment minister, or someone else, check out the "Who to deliver to?" section.
Deliveries to embassies
Let's face it, developed countries like the U.S., the EU, and Australia are some of the biggest emitters on the planet, have the greatest historical responsibility, and are doing the least to secure a strong deal in Copenhagen. Think about delivering your photos and petitions to the embassies of these countries where you are - if you can't get a meeting, you could deliver the message in a more symbolic way (see below).
A public forum
One of the biggest challenges to the UN process on climate change is that very few people actually know what happens there, and what their country's position is. Where possible, ask a local university to host a public forum, and invite your country's delegation to Copenhagen to come and present their position and participate in a public debate. You can also show them what you've been up to on October 24th.
In some places and cases it may not be possible to deliver your photos directly to your decision makers. Instead, you could send your photos and petitions to your government officials by mail, bring them to their secretary, or publicly drop them in front of their office, and then take a photo outside the building to let your supporters and the media know that the news about your actions are being brought directly to decision-makers. If you really want to get creative, puppets and masks of politicians are pretty guaranteed to get in the media.
Tips for meeting with officials
1. Find your officials' contact information.
Contact information for UNFCCC Focal Points by country: http://unfccc.int/parties_and_observers/parties/items/2352.php
In the US, you can find Senators and Representatives here: http://www.congressmerge.com/onlinedb/index.htm
2. Bring your people. Power in numbers is important, but more than four to five people in an office may be hard to manage. Try to recruit people with a variety of interests and backgrounds to articulate the diversity of the movement. Meet with your team beforehand to plan your approach.
3. Schedule the meeting. Call your official or his/her office, and ask to speak to the scheduler. Make these calls as soon as possible, because politicians’ schedules fill up quickly! Suggest specific dates and times for your meeting, and be sure to mention that you'd like to speak about climate change. Make sure to confirm your meeting officially by sending a letter with the request and following up to make sure it was received.
5. Get informed. Read the briefing papers and factsheets we've provided for you here, and share these materials with anyone visiting the office with you. Take some time to plan out the meeting in terms of who introduces the conversation, who covers certain topics, what talking points you agree upon, etc.
6. Show up. When you arrive at the office or house, tell the receptionist that you have a confirmed meeting. Be sure to be on time, and be courteous!
2. Say thank you. Thank the official for taking the time to meet with you. Be sure to also thank the official if he/she has shown leadership on climate change in the past.
3. Be yourself and keep it simple. You are the best advocate for why the official should take bold action on climate change. Take a moment to introduce yourself to your elected official or his/her staff. Briefly tell your personal story and let them know why you care about climate change. Be concise, but allow time for social conversation so that you make a personal connection and start building a relationship.
4. Be persuasive and positive. Present your views on climate change, and use specific facts to back your assertions up. Ask about your official’s specific positions on climate. If the official or his/her staffperson have questions, answer them as directly as possible, and if there are points of disagreement, be respectful and willing to listen. It is perfectly acceptable to say that you do not know the answer to a question – be confident and tell them you’ll get back to them later. Never make up an answer, as that can damage your credibility!
5. Ask for support. Ask if your member will sign the pledge to support the steps needed to get to 350ppm. You may not get an immediate answer, but it is important to be clear and direct about the purpose of your meeting.
6. Report back. Get a sense of where the official stands on the issue. Consider taking a picture with your elected official and his/her staff and e-mailing it to us with a brief description of what happened at the meeting at firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. Follow up. Thank the official or the staffperson for meeting with you, and be sure to exchange contact information. Send a thank you letter to the official and the staffperson to reiterate your position on the issues and provide any additional information if necessary, and continue to check in with the office on an ongoing basis. Keeping this relationship going will build your power and lay the groundwork for future conversation and action.
...or download the individual files below:
Documents for you to print out and review before your meeting:
Documents to print and present to your negotiators:
- Sample cover letter (edit this before printing) doc
- Briefing document on 350.org Day of Action and 350ppm CO2 target pdf
- Executive Summary, Economics of 350 pdf
- The 350 Emergency Pathway pdf
- Sample Delivery Packet from Barcelona meetings pdf
And make sure to send us an email at email@example.com to let us know how the meeting went!