8 Jan 2021
Highlighting the need for climate justice in a year dominated by COVID-19
2020 will be forever known as the year of COVID-19, which made it tempting to put other critical issues, such as climate change, aside. However, in an effort to drive progress forward, world leaders across government, business and civil society spoke virtually at the Climate Ambition Summit 2020. The summit focused on the five year anniversary of the Paris Agreement, offering a platform for renewing commitments and inspiring action.
At Fairtrade, we were extremely proud to be able to contribute to this discussion. Fairtrade Africa’s Board Chair, Mary Kinyua, joined the world stage to emphasize the impact and role of farmers and workers on climate change.
Kinyua shared a vivid example of the importance of the summit, reminding attendees of the effects of two recent hurricanes, Eta and Iota, on farmers and workers. Both hurricanes devastated a large number of crops across Central America, causing a direct threat to the livelihoods of those who depend on them. The increasing intensity and frequency of such major climate events stresses the imperative to relate climate action to human rights and trade justice.
Yet, Kinyua also indicated that there is hope, as we see companies increasingly discussing with Fairtrade how to reduce emissions and reach net zero across their supply chains.
However, when we talk about sustainable supply chains, it is crucial that there is support for farmers and workers when it comes to the cost of switching to low carbon production and transport. It would not be fair to expect producers to absorb all these costs, when they are sometimes not even able to earn a living income and a living wage. We all need to be willing to contribute to these costs, if we want change to happen.
You can watch Kinyua’s video, along with those of all other speakers at the Climate Ambition Summit website.
Driving progress in spite of COVID-19
When it comes to the challenges brought by 2020, farmers and workers have shown both incredible adaptability and resilience. They are re-thinking the way they work to make advances in sustainable farming and climate change.
A good example is the Fairtrade Producer Network-led Climate Change Leadership School in Ecuador, which shifted to online classes due to the current movement limitations, in which 48 young producers participated in and graduated from in December.
If you would like to learn more about the work Fairtrade does in climate change, you can visit the dedicated section on our website.