Fairtrade Farmers issue urgent warning on climate change to COP26

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Climate change and extreme weather conditions will threaten Fairtrade farmers' livelihoods. Pic: GettyImages
Climate change and extreme weather conditions will threaten Fairtrade farmers' livelihoods. Pic: GettyImages

Related tags Fair trade COP26

As the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (also known as COP26) gets underway today in a rainy Glasgow, a new Fairtrade study has revealed findings that ‘paints a bleak picture’ of the future for cocoa and other commodities.

The Fairtrade and Climate Change report was conducted by researchers from VU Amsterdam and Bern University of Applied Sciences, and explicitly identifies how climate change will impact specific crops and regions in different ways.

What is COP26?

This year is the 26th iteration, where world governments have met almost every year to forge a global response to the climate emergency. It was postponed by a year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and is hosted in the UK in Glasgow.

The conference officially opened on 31 October, a day earlier than planned because of Covid-19, and is attended by more than 120 world leaders with approximately 25,000 delegates expected to attend the conference, which runs until 12 November.

New adaptation and resilience measures are critical if plummeting incomes for Fairtrade farmers are to be prevented.

The intensifying impacts of climate change pose a serious risk to global agricultural production and directly threaten the livelihoods of millions of Fairtrade farmers around the world, the study has revealed.

It suggests that millions of farmers could be at risk of financial collapse as their livelihoods come under increasing climate pressure.

The report’s results are extremely alarming and a clarion call for immediate and comprehensive climate action​,” warned Dr Nyagoy Nyong’o, Global CEO at Fairtrade.

The threat to the future of many supply chains is very real and our planet’s farmers and agricultural workers are on the frontline of this global climate crisis. We must do everything to ensure they are not left behind and that they are indeed a part of the solution.”

According to the study’s findings, dramatic weather patterns spurred by climate change will likely deliver severe blows to agricultural production in key regions around the world, from Latin America to the Asia-Pacific.

Cocoa farmers in central and south America are likely to encounter more hot and dry weather periods, while their counterparts in eastern Ghana and northern Côte d’Ivoire may face heavier rains, the report claimed.

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