European Institute of Communications
PR Specialised Areas
L O B B Y I N G C A S E S T U DY
T H E A L L I A N C E F O R C L I M AT E P R O T E C T I O N
Founded by former US Vice President Al Gore in 2006, the Alliance is not of itself a lobbying
group but rather is an umbrella group comprising of several distinct lobbying organisations under the
broader topic of addressing the climate crisis.
The Alliance seeks to engage individuals, communities and governments across the world to
demand their political, business and community leaders address the issue of climate change. It is
important to note that the mission of the Alliance is to engage different sectors and levels of society
(individuals, communities and governments) with a focus on inﬂuencing political, business and
Currently the Alliance comprises of three organisations:
We Can Solve It ( http://www.wecansolveit.org )
Founded in 2006 this organisation is committed to igniting public action to help solve the climate
Repower America ( http://www.repoweramerica.org )
A bold plan to repower America with 100% clean electricity within 10 years. This organisation
was launched in 2008.
This Is Reality ( http://www.thisisreality.org )
Founded in 2008 this organisation is focused on responding to a campaign run by the coal
industry in America in an attempt to clean up it’s image. The organisation seeks to raise awareness of
the reality of the impact on the environment of coal industry.
The principle objectives are identiﬁed in the mission statement of the Alliance for Climate
Protection and set out six goals.
I. Raising awareness of the importance and urgency of adopting and implementing effective
and comprehensive solutions of the climate crisis.
II. Moving the USA past a tipping point, beyond which the majority of leaders in both major
political parties and at all sectors of civil society compete to offer genuinely effective proposals
[...] that will sharply reduce emissions of greenhouse gas pollutants.
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III. Creating a critical mass of public opinion in support of active US participation in the
international effort to enact a genuinely effective new treaty to reduce global greenhouse gas
IV. Generating overwhelming support within the US and around the globe for new American
leadership in the international efforts to solve the climate crisis.
V. Persuading individuals, families, communities, states, corporations, and other organisations to
begin to quickly and meaningfully reduce their own global warming pollution - and to offset the
remainder - in order to become “carbon neutral”.
VI. Not interested in longevity for its own sake, we expect that once these objectives have been
met, other established organisations can carry on the work as necessary and that the Alliance will
no longer need to exist as a stand alone entity.
The target publics are theoretically extremely wide as to include every living person on the planet
due to the global nature of the climate crisis. However the operations of the organisations have, to
date, been largely focussed on the United States.
• The American public
• The wider public (global)
• Business leaders
• Community leaders
• The media
Although the target publics are potentially very wide, we must bear in mind the focus placed on
inﬂuencing political, business and community leaders.
Tools and Tactics used
The lobbying campaigns combine advertising, online (and ofﬂine) organising and partnerships to
educate the American public and activate them to demand real solutions from elected ofﬁcials.
Use of established and widely published advertising campaigns using print media, online videos,
and TV spots. The campaign focused on the message of tackling the climate crisis together by bringing
together famous opponents who conveyed the message of putting aside their differences and agreeing
that co-operative action was required. “Together We Can Solve It”
Videos: http://www.wecansolveit.org/content/videos/ http://www.youtube.com/user/WeCanSolveIt
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Print Advertising: http://www.wecansolveit.org/content/pages/204/
The campaign also identiﬁed various stereotypical opposites - Blue Collar / White Collar - Lover /
Fighter - Conservative / Liberal etc.
Spokes Person ( http://www.algore.com/ )
The Alliance for Climate Protection has an incredibly strong spokes person in former US Vice
President Al Gore. A long standing campaigner for the environment he is an internationally acclaimed
politician and has spoken at the TED conference in 2006, 2008 and 2009 on tackling the climate crisis.
In 2007 Al Gore was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, along with the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC), for his work raising awareness of climate change.
In 2006 a documentary based on the talks given globally by Al Gore on the climate crisis was
released. The documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, received wide critical acclaim and is one of the
most successful documentaries to date. It stimulated widespread debate and calls for action. It
received a long list of distinguished awards including the Academy Award for Best Documentary in
The organisations that make up the Alliance for Climate Protection utilise a range of online tools
to organise and engage their member base. The websites have clear “Calls to Action” displayed
prominently which allow members and visitors to immediately get involved in the activities. Online
community is organised, connected and deployable. It should be noted in the headline menu on the
We Can Solve It website where you would usually see a menu button for “Press”, they use “Press &
Bloggers” this is positive engagement of the blogging community - a key element in a grass roots
movement and a vocal demographic to have participate in the lobbying campaign.
Similarity to the 5 key rules
1. Determine the inequality
• No longer an inequality, the climate crisis has moved beyond that point
• Previously a campaign may have focused on the disparity of investment in renewable
sources of energy compared to fossil fuel etc.
• Combating climate change is now a global movement
• Inaction can lead to environmental, economic and humanitarian consequences
2. Demonstrate the inequality
• Unique global aspect to the issue
• Subject to worldwide scientiﬁc scrutiny
• Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports (scientiﬁc consensus)
• Stern Report (UK) - economic cost
• International Agreement (Kyoto Treaty / Bali Action Plan) (Copenhagen is next major
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• Demonstrating the existence of actual solutions and alternative technologies and practices.
3. Dramatise the issue
• An Inconvenient Truth
• Ongoing media campaigns
• Al Gore still advancing the issue and informing people
• Continued appearances on the international stage (TED)
4. Have it brought to issue
• Use of community to lobby politicians
• Focussed communication campaigns to keep politicians and companies in the spotlight and
held to account
• Promotion of businesses leading with alternative solutions
5. Anticipate the recourse to principle
• Denial of Fact: this argument is removed largely due to the global scientiﬁc consensus (IPCC
4th Assessment Report (2007))
• Denial of Intent: argument is removed as it is irrelevant - campaign is not seeking to blame
for previous actions, seeks to hold to account for continuing actions
• Denial of Means: Highlighting new technology / demonstrating technological, ﬁscal and
environmental beneﬁts (tackling the economy and the environment together)
• Denial of Capacity: targeting all sector, bringing together actors
• Denial of Right: this is now a moral issue - about the future which we all have a stake in.
Success of Otherwise of the Campaign
There are a number of success stories presented on the website. These are steps towards the
larger identiﬁed goals.
• We Members Forward National Dialogue with Letters to the Editor
• Thousands Urge the Press to Ask Questions on Global Warming
• Stunning Response to Calls for a Global Treaty
• State Department Feels Public Pressure in Run-up to Climate Conference
• Florida Governor Raking on Climate Change
• Colorado Voters Pass Renewable Energy Standards; Governor Doubles Them!
• Wind Energy Is Replacing a History of Oil in One Texas Town
This case study is also available as a presentation which can be viewed online or downloaded at http://
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