Energy Revolution: “our choice, our jobs, our future”

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You have never organised a multi-faceted campaign but you would like to? Les Jeunes Ecologistes (French Young Greens) give you some ideas: they have recently launched their biggest campaign to date on the Energy Transition, calling on young people to be to the fore of the national debate on energy issues. Clarisse Heusquin from Les Jeunes Ecologistes explains.

Based on three dimensions – a revolution for employment, for our daily life and for the planet -, the Energy Revolution campaign argues that the energy transition (implementation of renewable energies, energy efficiency and sustainable transport policy) is able to revolutionise our way of life. Creating local and non delocalisable jobs, increasing public transport, shortening the food supply chain, our social model will change. It will enable us to respect more the planet and decrease pollution.

The campaign’s strategy consists of being active in all fronts – on the Internet, in the street and in the debate of ideas – through varied tools as visual materials, direct actions and advocacy.

Why the campaign “Energy Revolution”?

Two strategic dimensions structure a campaign: the decision or not to stick to the national political agenda and the way to tackle the subject in order to be heard in the public sphere. Of course, when the new left government announced there will be a national debate on energy transition, Les Jeunes Ecologistes – who do not normally make the headlines – saw the potential of this open space to bring their own angle of analysis into the debate.

Nevertheless, the current political context, (i.e. the alliance between Socialists and Greens and the green component of the Young Socialists), makes the campaign’s narrative more complex. How to say simply that French Young Greens are more radical? “We decided to use a stronger word than transition, even if it means dropping a typical green expression” explained Lucas Nedelec, coordinator of Les Jeunes Ecologistes’ Communication team. One of the most important steps in building a campaign is also to have clear, recognisable and effective graphics. Les Jeunes Ecologistes are currently building their global visual identity. So, the graphic designer Laura Pigeon chose to keep the former graphic features and improve them. She also took into account the three dimensions of the Energy Revolution – economic, social and environmental – and translated them into comprehensible pictograms. Regarding the slogan, after a lot of debate, “our choice, our jobs, our future” was chosen for two reasons: a generational component “our” and the idea that each voice counts, can change policies, plays on the economic situation and then…the future.

How French Young Greens organised a multi-campaign

Built as the campaign of the year, it should be multilevel and multidimensional. Multilevel means that we have a national campaign – including a common poster and leaflets – varied enough to suit local levels, but also existing at the European and international levels. At European and international levels, Les Jeunes Ecologistes will co-organise a seminar with the Federation of Young European Greens (FYEG) and a workshop at the World Social Forum. At local level, the objective is to furnish a range of actions and produce debate materials in order that local activists choose their form of action.

Multidimensionality means to have an online, direct action and advocacy campaigns, with a set of videos and visual materials for social media, guidelines for easy-to-do thematic street actions, a well-planned participation in the big national event “Human Chain against nuclear power”, a policy position voted on by the members of Les Jeunes Ecologistes and a project for a Green Paper with other youth organisations to be submitted to the Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy.

€6,000 is dedicated to this campaign, with the money coming from the group of French Green MEPs and MPs. Visual materials printing represent 75% of the budget.

Launching the campaign and the difficulty in organising a global street action

After the preparation step, it was time to launch publicly the campaign. Les Jeunes Ecologistes took advantage of the national Green party spring meeting in Bordeaux and organised an action with 120 people. The activists froze for 5 minutes, and each activist had a sheet of paper with a humorous message linked to the energy revolution “Happy energy sobriety”, “No oil on our plates”, “Release pedestrians confined in cars” etc.

Finding an action suiting this wide subject, the identity of French Young Greens and suitable for 120 activists was quite hard. “At the end, we chose something very simple, easy to do and to understand, from what we were sure to get images to make a new video”, explained Damien Hensens, coordinator of the action. The regional press coverage was good, with two articles, one in the newspaper and another one on the TV. Also, a video of a former action “Passons au vert”, which illustrates the global spirit of the campaign, was posted on social media for the official launching. More than 1,200 views on Dailymotion in 72 hours seem promising.

Les Jeunes Ecologistes have four months to convince their fellow citizens, which is the time-period of the national consultation. Let’s go!

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