Building a Movement for Health

“Save the climate, stop free trade” campaign (BELGIUM)

Region: Europe

Language: French

Year: 2016

Source: Contribution for manual

Author(s): Alexia Fouarge (Médecine pour le tiers monde, M3M)

Summary: A joint campaign by M3M and the international solidarity movement Intal, called “Save the climate, stop free trade”, launched in August 2015. The campaign denounces the negative impact of free trade agreements (FTAs) on climate change and the environment, worldwide. It also denounces the power and influence of corporations in the international negotiations on climate. As part of the campaign, several tools were created, including an interactive training module (http://m3m.be/moduledeformation_climat), a detailed report to explain the impact of FTAs on climate (http://m3m.be/sites/default/files/mailing/dossier_klimaat_fr_p.pdf), a game to facilitate training (http://m3m.be/changement-climatique-la-spirale-infernale), and postal cards for raising awareness and advocacy (http://m3m.be/node/1268). Over 600 signed cards have been collected, and a delegation went to meet the Belgian authorities in order to deliver them and present the people’s expectations towards the upcoming climate negotiations in Paris (COP21). Lessons learned and relevance for movement building: have a clear message which is well focused (FTAs and climate change was still too broad for the public, it is better to have a more concrete target and a clearer “ennemy”); resources need to be planned in advance (including finance, people and time); group work is key and should be carefully managed; campaigns can be a good tool to strengthen relationships and networks; political opportunities (e.g. COP21 in Paris) are important to increase visibility and impact.

For more information on this experience, please write to Alexia Fouarge at [email protected].

Key practices: decision-making; advocacy, campaigns, communication; networking, alliances and cooperation; knowledge generation; popular education, creative and interactive training, transferable skill-building

Read the full report here (in French)