The world’s wealthiest people caused the climate crisis – 50 percent of global emissions are the responsibility of the highest-earning 10 percent. But it’s the communities our Fairtrade movement exists to support who are facing the worst realities of climate change right now.

Increasingly unpredictable and extreme weather is forcing farmers and workers, often already on scandalously low incomes due to deeply unfair global trade, into serious hardship.

In November 2021, 1.8 million Fairtrade farmers and workers challenged world leaders to Be Fair With Their Climate Promise at the COP26 Un climate summit. And more than 30,000 campaigners backed their call.

Check out the Be Fair With Your Climate Promise campaign to hear direct from Fairtrade farmers about the realities of the climate crisis, and what needs to change.

COP26 fell short of what farmers and workers need. But together we can still make a difference – sign up today to find our how we can stand behind the Fairtrade farmers and workers taking on the climate crisis every day.

the journey to climate justice in 2021

Wealthier nations like the UK are responsible for, and have benefited from, the global systems that have caused the climate crisis and the crisis of extreme global injustice.

The wealthiest 10 percent are responsible for 50 percent of global emissions, while the lowest 50 percent by income are responsible for just 10 percent of global emissions.

So we need to tell our politicians it’s time to own up to our responsibilities. This is the nation’s chance to play its part in delivering a fair climate promise and a fairer future.

Our global Fairtrade community is challenging governments of the countries most responsible for the climate crisis to, at a minimum, deliver on an unfulfilled promise to fund a $100bn climate investment package for communities most affected by climate change.

And even more importantly, we’re demanding that these politicians respect the expertise, needs and ambitions of farmers and workers. Communities on the front line of the climate crisis must take a leading role in deciding how any funds are spent.

The COP26 agreement fell well short of the progress we need to see on climate justice. World leaders failed to match the determination and ambition of Fairtrade farmers and workers in their approach to the climate crisis.

But with all nations committed to revisit their climate promises at COP27 in Cairo next year, we must all take inspiration from those Fairtrade farmers and workers. Even in the most difficult circumstances, progress is possible when we come together.

Sign up to get our latest updates on how back those Fairtrade farmers lead the fight against climate change.

Two farmers face each other with arm raised in a wave gesture. They are holding bananas and cocoa pods with plants in the background (illustration)

how you can get involved

From asking your MP to get involved to organising an event, you will find supporting resources on the Fairtrade and Climate Justice section on the Resources Library.

And don’t forget, to sign-up to get our emails to make sure you don’t miss any of it!

But for starters, here are three ways you can work for a fair climate promise.

1. Read farmers’ be fair with your climate promise challenge to world leaders – and join the journey to climate justice

Ahead of the COP26 UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, Fairtrade farmers and workers came together to challenge world leaders to take responsibility for the climate crisis. And to back their amazing everyday work developing solutions to the climate crisis.

Their letter, representing 1.8 million Fairtrade farmers and workers, gives us a path to climate justice. COP26 did not take us nearly far enough down that path.

So we need to keep pushing politicians and businesses to listen to the experts on the climate crisis: farmers and workers who live with the reality every day.

2. watch and share the video on fairtrade and the climate crisis

Choosing Fairtrade, and choosing to campaign with our global Fairtrade community, is one way to stand with the people most threatened by the climate crisis. This short video explains why and how Fairtrade is part of the journey to climate justice. 

3: Check out our Choose the world you want festival 

Earlier this year we celebrated Fairtrade Fortnight with a special virtual festival, which focused on climate, Fairtrade and you.  

Dozens of free events are still available to watch on demand, each one exploring the different ways we can tackle the climate crisis.

Relive the Choose the world you want festival

what the climate crisis means for farmers and workers

Fairtrade at the climate march

More and more Fairtrade farmers are speaking out about the impact of climate breakdown. 

Fairtrade farmers are among the people who have contributed the least to climate crisis – but are already feeling the worst effects. 17 people from Côte d’Ivoire have the same carbon footprint as one person in the UK, but studies have shown that Africa is the continent most vulnerable to climate change. 

Across Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and Oceania, small-scale farmers are often experiencing the worst effects of climate breakdown. They’re less likely to earn a living income due to exploitative global trade and more likely to rely directly on the land they farm for their livelihoods. Climate change is making it harder to farm the land productively, while rigged trade systems, which favour the powerful, leave farmers unable to earn enough to adapt to the rapidly changing climate.

Ebrottié Tanoh Florentin, a cocoa farmer in Côte d’Ivoire, talks about what climate change means for cocoa farming communities in West Africa. 

‘Climate change is a global issue. We, the farmers, have to deal with its consequences every day. For instance, this year we lacked food because of the heat. The production decreased this year too, so this affects the economy. People harvested less and received less money. So we all suffer from the negative consequences of the climate: it impacts the environment and our economy.’ 

Read three more stories of Fairtrade farmers taking on the climate crisis.

Learn more about fairtrade and climate justice

Why trade justice is necessary for climate justice

Too many farmers barely earn enough to make ends meet as it is, even without factoring in the effects of climate change. This is why we are fighting for farmers to earn a living income, so they have the power to effectively fight the crises affecting their communities and continue with their livelihoods sustainably. 

Find out more about our campaign for living incomes

Hear from Fairtrade farmers

From Guerrero family, who farm coffee in Peru, to Árelis Bueno, part of Las Mercedes Banana Producers in the Dominican Republic, climate change is an immediate threat to the livelihoods of of the people who grow the foods and goods we depend on.

Watch this selection of short videos featuring Fairtrade farmers and workers explaining the challenges the climate crisis poses them every day. And how Fairtrade means more power and more income to take on these challenges.

Fairtrade Standards help protect the environment

Fairtrade also supports farmers to combat climate change through technical advice from our expert Producer Networks and our environmentally friendly Fairtrade Standards. 

Our Fairtrade Standards require small producers to take steps to: 

  • Adapt to climate change 
  • Reduce greenhouse gases and increase carbon sequestration 
  • Avoid deforestation and protect forests 
  • Tackle soil erosion and increase soil fertility 
  • Reduce water wastage 

Find out more about the Fairtrade Standards