Campaign for European Climate Action
Stay Grounded will start the “Let’s Stay Grounded!” campaign this year. Together with many different groups and organisations around Europe, we will build a strong and connected movement to stay grounded. The campaign aims to reduce the social license of both the aviation industry and hypermobile individuals, and will introduce the notion that staying grounded or travelling slow is desirable and cool. By pledging to fly less, and engaging in direct action against aviation, concerned citizens’ awareness of aviation’s climate impact will galvanise political support for systemic change that ultimately will reduce aviation emissions. This campaign empowers people to take matters into their own hands and make change.
The aviation industry and its political support is built on and supported by our consumption patterns. These patterns are shaped by norms, (institutional) rules and material infrastructures. This is why this campaign doesn’t see individual behaviour change as the solution to change our mobility system, but as a demand for structural change that enables more sustainable consumption patterns at societal level. Even though we do not put all the responsibility for change on individuals, we want to challenge the idea that a top-down system change will take place without an active civil society demanding and partially already living it.
Even though Stay Grounded is an international network, this is a European campaign – targeting some of the few frequent flyers of the world who also cause aviation growth and demand for new airports in other regions. But of course, we will apart from this campaign continue our international work.
We plan the following activities:
- No Fly Pledges: We aim to connect local pledge campaigns that have started in the last year in different European countries, reinforce them, and also create a central campaign platform. The goal is to gather thousands of pledges from people stating that they won’t fly next year or reduce flying. This can shift the debate about flying, and the high numbers of active citizens can demonstrate to policy makers that policy changes are supported.
- Activate people: The pledge campaign will be connected to a toolkit to get active, such as changing workplace or school travel policies, signing petitions, supporting local climate justice groups focusing on aviation, or joining direct actions addressing airport infrastructure.
- Incentivize institutions to change their travel policies: We will reach out to NGOs, universities, cities, ministries, trade unions and companies and propose them concrete measures to reduce flights in their institutions. Best practice examples will be shown on the campaign platform.
- Spread common political demands for (infra-)structural changes to reduce air travel and do advocacy work: We are currently debating the most just and feasible instruments to reduce aviation, and in July are organizing a Stay Grounded conference on “Degrowth of Aviation” in Barcelona. This conference is not part of this funding proposal – but the outcomes will feed into our future political demands and petitions (like on a kerosene tax, limits to short haul flights, moratoria on airports, etc.).
- Support protests of local activist groups: Direct action and activities that both build movements and draw public attention towards the issue of aviation or airport expansion are a central part of our strategies. We’ll support local groups in Europe by sharing experiences, raising social media attention and providing resources and webinar trainings.