Responding to the final communique of the COP26 summit, Fairtrade’s Head of Delegation for COP26 and Kenyan flower farmer, Mary Kinyua, said:
“This COP’s outcome is in many ways a cop out, a frustrating conclusion to this summit filled with hope that we would see a start to the healing of our world.
“As farmers ourselves, representing 1.8 million Fairtrade farmers and workers across the world already living with the devastating realities of climate change, we came to Glasgow in good faith, hoping our world leaders would listen to our voices and keep their promises. Our message – of ensuring the planet temperature rise remains within 1.5 degrees and that the costs of addressing a changing climate would not be unfairly placed on those of us who did the least to cause it – could not have been clearer.
“It is hard to understand why the prospect of a 2.4 degree temperature rise has not driven world governments to deliver on the promises made in Paris. It is hard to understand why the climate finance promise of $100 billion per year is still outstanding. It is painful to see that no commitment at all has been made to pay for the unavoidable loss and damage faced by our communities.
“Of course we have seen some welcome moves. The speed at which our climate is changing makes it vital that governments will be asked to raise their commitments again in Cairo next year, rather than waiting for another five years. Promises on deforestation are critical for millions like me for whom farming is a way of life, and the announcement of a ‘Just Rural Transition Fund’ is an encouraging move. The key will be ensuring these new funds are delivered as promised, and that they actually reach farmers and our communities in low-income countries, and reaches them swiftly.
“Fairtrade farmers and citizens of the global Fairtrade movement will not let this stand. We are already working to tackle the climate crisis on the frontline in our communities, with the knowledge and love of the land that we have as farmers. And we know that there are Fairtrade buyers and businesses and supporters who will stand with us, working alongside us day to day to do what we can and calling for action until promises are finally kept. We are doing our part, it’s time for the leaders to do theirs.”
Mary Kinyua is a Fairtrade flower farmer from Kenya. She is the Fairtrade International board representative to COP26, and represented Fairtrade International on the UK CSO & Youth Advisory Council, convened by Alok Sharma MP as part of the preparations for COP26.
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Fairtrade changes the way trade works by putting farmers and workers first. That means better prices, decent working conditions and more trade power for small-scale producers. Leading by example, Fairtrade has producers represented in 50% of its governance. Fairtrade International is an independent non-profit organization representing 1.8 million farmers and workers worldwide. It owns the FAIRTRADE Mark, a registered trademark appearing on more than 30,000 products, which is the most recognized and trusted sustainability label in the world. Fairtrade International and its member organisations collaborate with businesses, engage shoppers, activate civil society, and enable producers to take control in order to bring about a fair, sustainable future — a future rooted in social justice.