FAQs about Local Groups
What are 350 local groups?
Since 350.org began in 2008, local and national citizen-led climate organizing groups have sprung up in communities around the world to organize for 350 days of action, and to continue mobilizing in their communities in an ongoing way. We believe a powerful global network of local movements working to stand in solidarity with one another at the global level, and transform their communities through popular education, grassroots organizing, and campaigning at the local level, is essential to stopping global climate change. What 350 groups do locally will vary from place to place and is up to the movementsâ€™ leaders, but at their core, they are led by those committed to building a global climate movement that embodies the basic principles in the 350 organizing manifesto.
What do 350 groups do?
The most important answer to this question is: whatever is most crucial to stopping climate change in your community, whether it be education, recruitment and teambuilding, campaigning and policy change, or working directly on solutions to cut carbon emissions. When key moments arise such as a critical decision about a devastating fossil fuel project or a global day of action, we hope 350 groups will take action in solidarity, knowing that our voices are louder and more persuasive when we take action as a global movement. On the "Projects" page are many ideas and step-by-step guides for ways to get your local group started and gain momentum, from hosting your first meet-up to launching a campaign to commit your town to zero carbon emissions.
The 350.org Organizing Manifesto
350 is the safe upper limit of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, measured in parts per million, above which the planet is in a state of climate crisis. Our work is to reduce dangerous carbon emissions by building a grassroots movement, moving away from fossil fuels and harmful land use practices, and helping jump-start a clean energy economy--and in the process, transforming our world into a livable, joyful and just place. We seek to embody the following principles in our work together:
We are a global movement of citizens working to solve the climate crisis. We are global citizens organizing 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, and empower new leaders to take them on. 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.
We are committed to real action, not just talk. We work quickly and efficiently, and share the work with others; there's no place for ego in organizing, so we say "yes" as much as possible. 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 in our campaigns at all levels not only is what is needed to confront the climate crisis, but is also more effective in inspiring people to join us and gaining momentum.
Creativity is the touchstone of our work. Through symbols, art and creative actions, we help visualize both the problems and the solutions to climate change for our communities, the media, and our leaders. Creative ways of communicating often speak more directly to our hearts, and provide a beautiful reminder of what we strive to protect.
As organizers, 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 organizing in the real world. We realize technology is not a replacement for real relationships or time-tested organizing techniques, but it can help catalyze our movement in new and exciting ways if applied creatively, and with a human touch. Technology 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 to speak the truth. We keep up with the science 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. We recognize that 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 its a lone brave protester in Iraq, or a community coming together to ship bikes to the tiny island of Nauru, 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 protesters before us. No violence, no property damage. We ascribe to how our friends at Peaceful Uprisings put it: â€œWe recognize a nonviolent movement as the most effective means of creating a just and healthy world.â€