Fairtrade launches climate-focused partnership, urges COP26 to do more
The announcement, which comes as global leaders, climate activists and international organisations meet at the ongoing 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), commits Fairtrade and Grow Ahead to support reforestation (agroforestry) projects at Fairtrade-certified producer organisations as part of their climate adaptation and mitigation efforts.
The two organisations said they will work together to deliver comprehensive climate mitigation solutions to small-holder farmers through targeted agroforestry efforts.
It is significant because organisations and companies will need polices in place to meet forthcoming EU legislation on the deforestation impact of imported commodities.
“While global leaders meet in Glasgow, Fairtrade and Grow Ahead are committing to tangible efforts in delivering concrete solutions for those made most vulnerable by climate change,” said Dr Nyagoy Nyong’o, Global CEO of Fairtrade International.
“As the recent Fairtrade and Climate Change report made clear, the threat to the future of our planet’s farmers and agricultural workers is very real and very severe. The time to stop talking and take action is now and that’s exactly what this partnership does.”
In kicking off the partnership, Grow Ahead is raising funds to support a project with Ghana-based Fairtrade-certified cocoa producer Kuapa Kokoo to plant 150,000 timber tree species and 30,000 fruit trees, reforesting 11,942 acres over an initial two-year period. The reforestation effort, known as the Agroforestry and Cocoa in Ghana project, will work with 2075 farmers across 25 communities in the Offinso municipality of Ghana and has the stated goal of reforesting cocoa farms and farmlands to create microclimates, reducing the impact of climate change on cocoa farmers.
In a separate move, Fairtrade’s Head of Delegation at COP26, Mary Kinyua, who is a flower producer from Kenya, issued a direct statement to the world leaders:
“I’m here in Glasgow to represent 1.8 million Fairtrade farmers and workers who are following the climate talks and calling for critical action from our world leaders. As we near the final corner, it’s vital that governments don’t lose this opportunity to make sure COP26 delivers.
"While it contains some elements of progress, the current draft of the COP26 negotiation outcome, which we’ve seen today, suffers from an overwhelming lack of commitment. Right now, commitments from governments remain far short of what scientists say is needed to keep warming below dangerous levels.
"Unless this changes we are on course for a 2.4°C rise, which would be devastating for Fairtrade farmers and workers like myself, and devastating for humanity. The time for government posturing has passed: we desperately need to see a clear, ambitious plan for cuts that give us a fighting chance of averting climate catastrophe."
- Read Mary Kinyua full statement here.