Open letter calls on government to keep climate pledges

As COP27 kicks off in Cairo this month, Fairtrade has written a letter urging member states to keep their climate pledges and ‘act now’ for farmers worldwide, addressing government leaders, global dignitaries and UN delegates.

The open letter has been signed by Fairtade International’s Global CEO Sandra Uwera, as it represents more than 1.9 million farmers and workers worldwide who have been “disproportionately affected” by the climate crisis.

“Unless we clamp down hard and fast on global emissions and support farmers in low- and middle-income countries to build climate resilience, all of us will suffer,” Sandra Uwera, Global CEO of Fairtrade International, said in the letter.

The letter also pinpoints the need for governments convening at COP27 to set out human rights and environmental due diligence policies to tackle root causes of deforestation in supply chains. The organisation also wants them to negotiate trade agreements that support human rights, labour rights and the highest environmental standards, all with the view to drastically reduce carbon emissions.

It also warns members that the climate finance commitments made at COP26 in Glasgow last year may not benefit farming communities unless farmers are given a say in how funds can best support their communities for climate resilience, to halt deforestation and best prepare themselves for changing weather patterns.

“At Fairtrade, we are proud to take the lead in calling for a more equitable and sustainable trade system that delivers fairness and climate action to our planet’s farmers and their communities. And… we remain firm in our resolve as we call upon global leaders to do what is right at COP27 and beyond. The time for action is now. We are doing our part to ensure a sustainable and inclusive future for all. Now, it’s up to you to do yours,” concluded Sandra Uwera.

The letter echoes recommendations in a position paper published on Sunday by leading trade justice bodies including Fairtrade, the World Fair Trade Organization (WTFO) and the Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) as they have intensified calls for inclusive climate solutions. The paper, titled ‘The Clock Is Ticking’ was released ahead of COP27 and calls on leaders of government to deliver on climate targets by meeting the US$100 billion climate aid commitment promised by the end of 2022, ensuring climate finance delivers for small holder farmers, agreeing on regulations which tackle deforestation, penalising non-compliance and supporting farmers with the costs of adaptation and mitigation.

“It is urgent to untap the potential of worldwide smallholder farmers, producers and artisans to contribute to climate and social justice,” said Jorge Conesa, Managing Director of FTAO. “Major consumer regions, like the EU, have great leverage and also a great responsibility: they must live up to their climate ambitions, while refraining from sabotaging themselves by not addressing global abusive trading practices.”

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Caitlin Gittins
Editor, International Confectionery
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