Fairtrade Foundation backs global government report on climate change impacts

The Fairtrade Foundation has backed a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), highlighting the clear impacts that rising global temperatures are having on key agricultural crops, as the charitable body expressed concern over major issues including continued rates of deforestation, writes Neill Barston.

Tim Aldred, head of policy for the UK independent non profit organisation, which forms part of the global Fairtrade movement supporting disadvantaged producers, stressed that delays in taking action could not be afforded, given the pressing scale of the challenges faced on an international level.

He said: “The IPCC report confirms what Fairtrade farmers and workers in low-income nations already know: that the climate crisis is here, threatening their livelihoods, their crops, their communities and our collective futures. We are reaching a climate tipping point. That is why, this Fairtrade Fortnight, we are calling on governments to meet their climate promises by cutting carbon emissions and providing badly needed finance so that farmers can prepare for an increasingly uncertain future.’

As part of Fairtrade Fortnight (21 February – 6 March), the Fairtrade Foundation is inviting members of the public to write to their MPs asking them to urge the UK government to deliver on its commitments to communities in climate vulnerable countries. These commitments include funding promises made at COP26, such as £500m in extra funding to tackle deforestation, and a £65m Just Rural Transition fund to support farmers and agricultural workers in countries disadvantaged by global trade to adapt to climate change.

Mr Aldred continued: ‘These funds – and other commitments as part of the $100bn-a-year global climate finance pledge – need to reach those who need it most. As today’s IPCC report underscores, time is running out and we simply cannot afford to delay any longer.’

Key findings from intergovernmental panel

– Human-induced climate change, including more frequent and intense extreme events, has caused widespread adverse impacts and related losses and damages to nature and people, beyond natural climate variability.

– Some development and adaptation efforts have reduced vulnerability. Across sectors and regions the most vulnerable people and systems are observed to be disproportionately affected. The rise in weather and climate extremes has led to some irreversible impacts as natural and human systems are pushed beyond their ability to adapt (high confidence).

– Vulnerability of ecosystems and people to climate change differs substantially among and within regions (very high confidence), driven by patterns of intersecting socio-economic development,
unsustainable ocean and land use, inequity, marginalisation, historical and ongoing patterns of inequity such as colonialism, and governance (high confidence). Approximately 3.3 to 3.6 billion
people live in contexts that are highly vulnerable to climate change (high confidence).

– A high proportion of species is vulnerable to climate change (high confidence). Human and ecosystem vulnerability are interdependent (high confidence). Current unsustainable development patterns are increasing exposure of ecosystems and people to climate hazards (high confidence).

– Global warming, reaching 1.5°C in the near-term, would cause unavoidable increases in multiple climate hazards and present multiple risks to ecosystems and humans (very high confidence). The level of risk will depend on concurrent near-term trends in vulnerability, exposure, level of socioeconomic development and adaptation (high confidence). Near-term actions that limit global
warming to close to 1.5°C would substantially reduce projected losses and damages related to climate change in human systems and ecosystems, compared to higher warming levels, but cannot
eliminate them all (very high confidence).

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