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Fairtrade farmers call on world leaders to keep $100-billion promise 

08 October 2021

Letter appeals for annual finance to low-income countries hit by climate crisis

Alamy

Farmers work on a fairtrade tea plantation in Malawi

Farmers work on a fairtrade tea plantation in Malawi

A LETTER sent on behalf of 1.8 million Fairtrade farmers and agricultural workers, in advance of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, is urging world leaders to keep their promise to provide $100 billion in annual finance to low-income nations that are disproportionately hit by the climate crisis.

The letter criticises the rich nations most responsible for climate change for failing to honour their pledges to cut their emissions and provide proper support to farmers suffering the worst weather changes.

Eighty per cent of the world’s food comes from 500 million family farms. Small-scale food producers who rely on a stable climate for their livelihoods are some of the most vulnerable people to the effects of climate change.

Signed by representatives of Fairtrade networks around the world, the letter warns governments that their lack of action is deepening poverty, and threatening farmers’ livelihoods and global food supplies.

The letter says: “We grow the food eaten at the tables of people all around the world, as well as other essential produce. But our ability to do so has been badly damaged by the reckless harm done to our environment from years of broken promises concerning the climate crisis.

“You promised to cut the emissions that drive extreme weather, which dry up our fields one day and flood them the next. But emissions are increasing dangerously while your ambition remains too low. You promised to provide climate finance, to help us keep growing food despite the changing weather. But next to nothing is reaching us. You promised to change business from exploiter to partner. But shareholders earn billions while millions of farmers earn less than a dollar a day.”

The letter also urges rich nations to cut emissions, prioritise trade deals that drive trade in low-carbon produce, and to strengthen business rules on environmental protection.

Fairtrade Africa’s commercial director, Kate Nkatha Ochieng’, said: “Farming communities who have cared for their local ecosystems for generations know exactly why the climate crisis really is a crisis. The fight against climate change is about human rights and ensuring justice for vulnerable communities impacted.”

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