News - August 7, 2023

Harnessing Collective Power : Learnings from Organised Advocacy

Written by Climate Alliance Switzerland 3 min read

In an era marked by the pressing need for decisive environmental action, the pivotal role of effective campaigning and strategic mobilisation has come to the forefront. To advocate successfully for a comprehensive legal framework that safeguards our planet's future, it is imperative that we harness the power of diverse ecosystems and collaborations. As part of a dynamic alliance of Swiss organisations, Climate Alliance Switzerland (Klima Allianz Schweiz) strives to unite various stakeholders, to unlock a potent force capable of shaping public opinion, driving legislative change, and fostering a sustainable society for generations to come.

The Power of Alliances

At the heart of Climate Alliance Switzerland's strategy lies the power of alliances. By fostering a network of member organisations, from the fields of environment, development, churches, youth, trade unions, consumer protection and others, the alliance leverages combined influence to shape public opinion and engage communities effectively. This multi-stakeholder approach allows the Alliance to access diverse perspectives, resources, and channels for communication. The Climate Rally, which will be held on September 30th stands as a testament to this strategy. The rally should bring together people not only from their member organisations but also from other movements like the climate strike movement, facilitating dialogue and collective action. This alliance structure is something that can be leveraged by different member organisations at varying scales.

Tailoring Messages to Different Stakeholders

To build an effective campaign, organisations must adeptly tailor their messaging to resonate with a diverse range of stakeholders. Climate Alliance Switzerland recognises that different stakeholders have varying priorities and concerns. To ensure the message resonates with diverse target groups, a tailored communication strategy is employed. For instance, when addressing policymakers and industry leaders, Klima Allianz work closely with member organisations like Greenpeace, WWF, and Caritas, who have lobbying teams engaging directly with politicians to convey their positions on climate-related topics. This personalised approach ensures that the message is conveyed effectively to different audiences, enabling greater impact.

Three Pillars for a Successful Campaign

Climate Alliance Switzerland draws upon three foundational pillars to ensure an effective campaign:

  • Building a Collaborative Network: Creating and fostering partnerships with diverse players in the climate movement allows the alliance to pool resources, share knowledge, and work collectively towards common goals. This collaborative approach enhances the overall impact of campaigns.

  • Inviting New Allies: Continuously inviting like-minded organisations to join the alliance reinforces the network and broadens reach. The collective strength of these allies bolsters advocacy efforts and enables greater engagement and mobilisation.

  • Multi-Stakeholder Approach: Recognising that various stakeholders hold unique positions of influence, trust, and expertise, Climate Alliance Switzerland actively involves diverse stakeholders in their ecosystem, and this representation is key to reaching a larger segment of the population.

Differing Campaign Formats

In the dynamic landscape of environmental advocacy, it is important to use diverse campaign formats to effectively advocate for change. In addition to organising large-scale events like the Climate Rally, Climate Alliance Switzerland engages in differing forms of campaigns. For instance, conducting a pension fund rating, evaluating how pension funds consider climate risks and impact in their investment decisions. The alliance also coordinates with different actors to pressure significant institutions, such as the Swiss National Bank and the Bank for International Settlements, to take climate risk seriously and drive systemic change.

Science-Based Approach: Guided by Evidence

Part of effective campaigning means being guided by a science-based foundation for advocacy efforts. Climate Alliance Switzerland strongly advocates for science-based climate policies. The alliance emphasises aligning climate policies with scientific findings and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They push for climate action that goes beyond the Paris Agreement's 1.5°C limit, recognizing the need for more ambitious targets to address the urgency of the climate crisis.

Effective campaigning can be enabled through a multi-stakeholder strategy, as is the case for Climate Alliance Switzerland, which empowers the network to effectively campaign and mobilise for climate friendly legislation. By embracing a diverse range of members, and leveraging collective strength, you can amplify your messaging and engage various target groups. With a science-based approach and a strong network, Climate Alliance Switzerland continues to drive positive change and advocate for a sustainable future - factors which can be replicated by other working groups and organisations within Switzerland, and beyond.

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