XR Bristol Strategy Background

End Fossil Fuels Campaign


In the next 18 months, we have both Local and General elections.  Can we shift public perception enough that no politician dares to run on any platform other than ‘end fossil fuels now’?

There are two significant impediments to this:

  • Fossil fuel companies and their supporting bad actors (banks, major users of fossil fuels, conservative media, current government) have a stranglehold on the narrative – telling us that we need fossil fuels to maintain economic growth which in turn is essential for our quality of life, and also greenwashing us that in fact we are on track to meet necessary climate commitments
  • Fossil fuels are embedded so deeply in our day to day lives that it is hard for people to imagine life without fossil fuels. 

Framing for the campaign:

  1. Build on what was achieved at The Big One:
    • Coalitions, unite to survive – coming together with a common goal, even if our tactics differ
    • Change of XR branding/posture away from more general disruption but retaining ideas of cognitive disruption – attention grabbing, cheeky, clever, and artistic elements 
    • Maintaining pressure to end fossil fuels.
  2. Build on momentum and skills developed in Bristol XR
    • face-to-face outreach
    • subvertising
    • billboards, posters, bus stops
    • banners
    • actions.
  3. Two parallel campaigns – that mutually reinforce with consistent messaging:
    • A better future is possible (without fossil fuels), and indeed this future is the only way we can avoid chaos
    • Expose (and stop) climate criminals who are peddling fossil fuels.  
  4. Important that the focus is on system change, and societal level behaviour change, rather than individual behaviour change
    • We must show people that fundamental changes are needed to achieve a better future without fossil fuels.  
  5. A related issue is the legacy of imperialism and colonialism which has created the imbalances that allow fossil fuels to continue to dominate geopolitics. 
    • Important to recognise the very significant impacts on the global South.
  6. Bristol focus – but potential to share more broadly 
  7. Think glocally – are there Bristol examples that can amplify the struggles of the global south.


The broad aims towards which our efforts are directed (a ‘what’, not a ‘how’):

G1 People of Bristol demand all candidates stand on an ‘end fossil fuels’ platform

G2 XR Bristol is part of a movement of movements 

G3 Local bad actors are under pressure to ditch fossil fuels


Specific, measurable milestones that need to be achieved to reach the goals:

  1. Define XR Bristol’s place in the movement of movements and identify how we can add value 
  2. All XR Bristol activities and actions are covered in local media and amplified through extensive use of social media
  3. XR Bristol successfully hosts climate-focussed hustings in each Bristol seat before the next national election 
  4. All candidates for Bristol City Council local elections have been lobbied to renew commitment to climate neutral Bristol by 2030
  5. Bristol City Council lack of progress on commitments to climate neutral Bristol by 2030 is highlighted through:
    1. Questions on progress towards the 2030 commitment and specifically ending fossil fuels in Bristol at every Bristol City Council meeting until May 2024
    2. Attention grabbing actions at three full Council meetings before May 2024
  6. Sustained, campaigns are carried out against three bad actors between July 2023 and July 2024:
    1. ongoing campaign through billboards, posters, social media and other outreach activities
    2. targeted actions
  7. Sustained, community-facing outreach highlighting that the future is better without fossil fuels:
    1. at least monthly face to face outreach events across Bristol
    2. billboards, posters and leaflets 
    3. One or more community outreach events focussing on envisioning a better future without fossil fuels (e.g. people’s assembly, town halls) in Autumn 2023.


A plan of action designed to achieve the objectives. The ‘how’.

To create consistency and recognition across the campaign, it will be carried by four main messages that activities can sit without, and visual design-pack developed by the Arts Working Group:

  • The future is FAIRER without fossil fuels
  • The future is SAFER without fossil fuels
  • The future is HEALTHIER without fossil fuels
  • The future is HAPPIER without fossil fuels

Each can carry a ‘tag-line’ to follow, that relates to a specific action / issue / outreach activity etc. and maybe with a ‘call to action’ about how people can organise / take action to demand system change (please note that these are not intended to be about individual behaviour change). 

For example: 

The future is SAFER without fossil fuels

…what’s your MP saying about green employment?

Attend the meeting on [date] to ask them.

The future is HEALTHIER without fossil fuels

Air pollution kills 2,000 people in Bristol every year.

The future is HAPPIER without fossil fuels

A cleaner, greener city

Meeting these objectives will involve all working groups, with specific areas of work identified below: 

  1. Communities Working Group:
    1. Continue the Stronger as One work 
    2. Map the community groups that link to climate change and climate justice in Bristol 
    3. Identify existing networks
    4. Build relationships and develop a plan for integrating Bristol XR into a movement of movements 
  1. Actions (Planning) Working Group 
    1. identify three bad actors (some possibilities – Barclays, Uni of Bristol – major Barclays customer, Bristol Airport, Bristol Ports, fossil fuel outlets in Bristol, media – BBC?, Arms industry)
    2. develop campaigns based on outreach and targeted actions
    3. Plan and lead implementation of actions.
  1. Media and Messaging Working Group
    1. Map local media
    2. Map social media
    3. Develop a media engagement plan 
    4. Develop a social media amplification campaign 
    5. Develop messaging around:
      1. the need to end fossil fuels because otherwise the future of humans is unviable 
      2. bad actors are stopping us from surviving 
      3. a better future is possible, and indeed we have all the technology and ideas to do this, but we need to unite to survive
      4. (A few notes on messaging – perhaps use the word ‘reform’ to augment system change, use the word flourish instead of prosper, also use ‘fairer’, perhaps incorporate ideas of truth, justice and love).
  1. Outreach Working Group:
    1. Community envisioning event:
      1. research existing spaces for conversations about a better future without fossil fuels, and other community groups engaged in this type of campaigning 
      2. review options and locations for an autumn event
    2. Develop flyers and other materials for use at face to face outreach events (work with media and messaging group)
    3. Plan and maintain a programme of face to face outreach events (stand alone, or alongside other activities)
    4. Plan and carry out programme of public-facing messaging (e.g. billboarding, flyposting, pain the streets, etc.)
  1. Arts Working Group
    1. Design beautiful, impactful and coherent visual campaign assets for use on banners, posters, billboards and other public display material.
  1. Political Working Group
    1. prepare and distribute questions for Council and WECA meetings (next full Council 11 July, questions due 4th July)
    2. Plan and execute Hustings for local and National Elections
    3. Work with the bad actors action group to develop council meeting actions
    4. develop text for letters to MPs as appropriate 
    5. Start tracking national election, including Bristol candidates.


The specific activities and actions needed to deliver the strategy. 

These will be a key focus of our work at Tuesday rebel meetings, so please come along and help plan.

See our Meetings page for more information or our Contacts page for how to get in touch.

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