Today, nearly half the world’s population lives without any access or unaffordable and unreliable access to electricity. Fortunately, for the first time in history, the technology exists to reliably and affordably empower those who lack access to energy, boosting human development by creating jobs at a massive scale, and avoiding greenhouse gas emissions that would worsen the climate crisis, all at the same time.
The new and unique Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) unites disparate actors behind the shared goal of reaching 1 billion people with clean, renewable energy, avoiding 4 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions, and creating 150 million green jobs that generate inclusive economic growth. With the aim to launch at COP26, we needed to create a campaign with a universal message that all of GEAPP’s partners could get behind speaking to leaders across countries and sectors on the urgency of a more rapid and equitable transition to clean energy for all.
How do you raise awareness for an alliance that hasn’t yet launched and get people to care about an issue that is right at the bottom of their priority list, in the incredibly crowded media space of COP26?
We needed a creative platform that could quickly demonstrate the huge impact that the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet will have on people’s lives around the world. The campaign would also be a way to share the vision of the alliance with world leaders, encouraging them to join us in this effort and respond to our call for proposals. To do this we created a central campaign line #LetsChangeEnergy for good, which we launched through an online activation with a physical manifestation at COP26.
We asked influencers, civil society organizations, and public and private organizations around the globe to help us tell decision-makers why we should change energy for good by helping us finish the sentence “#Let’sChangeEnergy for…” on social media and asking their audience to do the same. Every time someone completed the phrase and used the hashtag, it was fed into the online word wall, demonstrating support for the cause and demanding action from investors and policymakers. For example
#Let’sChangeEnergy for the environment
#Let’sChangeEnergy for the economy
#Let’sChangeEnergy for future generations
For those who wanted to get more involved we provided a toolkit of assets, including GIFs, static posts & post copy, using our GEAPP branding and strong visual campaign design visuals. Harnessing the power of these influencers enabled to build awareness and greater salience around the alliance and the important work that it was doing. To support the word wall and drive further engagement, we developed content heroing the stories of ‘unheard’ and unexpected voices in the Global South, through a series of digital assets that were simple, sticky, and emotionally engaging. We created video content, static posts, and a launch film, elevating the voices of people affected by lack of clean energy access. Telling the stories of families whose lives have been directly improved by this technology and can advocate for its implementation elsewhere.
To bring this to the attention of key decision-makers we launched the campaign at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), where hundreds of the world’s most influential leaders would be passing our Pavilion daily. We created a connection between the digital and physical worlds by producing a large interactive wall at our Pavilion, surrounded by campaign branding. When leaders walked past, they could see all the reasons that people around the world had to change energy and who they wanted to change energy for. We created the space to encourage further social engagement with selfie spots and bright colorful visuals.
The #LetsChangeEnergy for Good campaign was launched to help demonstrate to changemakers, donors, and partner countries that there is popular support for a rapid, equitable transition to clean energy for all.
The Alliance received the endorsement of change-makers and was praised as “one of the key successes of COP26” by President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera of the Republic of Malawi. Key engagements were also made with the governments of Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Rwanda, and other First Action Countries in events across COP26.
The Alliance gained significant PR coverage and observed the growth of a social movement around energy transition. The word wall was a demonstration of the public demand for making renewable energy a priority, and a successful way to engage with Global Leaders.
We demonstrated momentum behind the issue with over 2,200 authors contributing to campaign from influencers to organizations, and global citizens who all engaged with the Alliance. Amounting to around 4,300 posts, with a potential reach of 345 million people.
The alliance received support and engagement from influencers from all spheres, including UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J Mohammed, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright, USAID president Samantha Power, IRENA president Francesco La Camera, Climate Activist “Mr. Climate” Olumide Idowu, Kei Kamara, Student Energy, African musician WAJE, European Investment Bank.
The Alliance also grew its Twitter presence by +1000% and drove over 146,000 visitors to the new Alliance website, with more than 5,600 downloads of the Alliance’s brochure and call for proposals.
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