The next annual UN climate change conference will be attended by the countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – a treaty that came into force in 1994.
Fairtrade said in the letter it urges world leaders to keep their promise to provide $100bn in annual finance to low-income nations disproportionately hit by the climate crisis.
The letter criticises rich nations most responsible for climate change for not honouring their pledges to cut their emissions and adequately support farmers suffering the worst effects of climate breakdown.
Signed by representatives of Fairtrade producer networks in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the letter warns governments their lack of action is threatening farmers’ livelihoods and global food supplies.
Leading chocolate and confectionery brands including Ben & Jerry's and Tony's Chocolonely have backed the letter demanding wealthy countries keep their promises.
With Fairtrade month underway, the letter, titled ‘Be fair with your climate promise,’ is a timely reminder to Cop26 and says: “We grow the food eaten by people all around the world … 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.”
According to Fairtrade, 80% of the world’s food comes from 500 million family farms. Farmers in climate-vulnerable countries are already using their expertise to deliver climate solutions, but it is not enough: financial support is critical, they say.
The letter also urges governments to strengthen business rules on environmental protection and to promote fair, low-carbon trade deals.
A delegation of Fairtrade farmers will attend the COP26 summit in Glasgow, to deliver the letter in person and it is also mobiliding ethical shoppers to support the farmers’ call for action by signing a global petition, available on its digital campaign hub.