Fairtrade joins social justice groups seeking to reform European Green Deal into global policy

A collective including social justice movement Solidar, the Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO), Fairtrade International and the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) have called upon EU leaders to transform the European Green Deal on environmental legislation to provide increased support for farming communities, writes Neill Barston.

As the group noted, they are calling on governments across Europe to make the new legislation a “Global Green deal’ that enhances its focus to deliver a more equitable outcome for all players with wider food supply chains – including those working in the cocoa sector underpinning the confectionery industry.

According to the combined organisations, under the terms of the new Green Deal legislation, ‘forced to abide by new rules’ which they asserted were hard to implement, as well as potentially threatening livelihoods due to added costs and time involved in meeting new compliance standards.

The group said that looking beyond farming, the EU “needed to reconsider how it supports North and South producers to achieve environmental, social and trade justice in the context of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.”

Furthermore, the collective also went further in stating that as presently framed, the European Green Deal leads to environmentally and socially harmful impacts on the Global South and exacerbates, rather than eliminates, inequality and poverty.

As the collective continued, the Global Green Deal (GGD) vision is of an inclusive European transformative agenda that firmly assumes its responsibilities vis-à-vis third and partner countries with regard to imposed externalities. The GGD is a Green Deal with an external dimension to guarantee a fair distribution of the transition costs between Europe and partner countries.

Professor Olivier De Schutter from UCLouvain and Sciences Po Paris lends his support to the initiative, which also received the generous contribution of the Sustainable Development Solution Network (SDSN). The Call to Action is the result year-long set of deliberations with like-minded organisations that have culminated in the event on “Just Transition for All: Why the European Green Deal needs to go Global” that was held at the European Economic and Social Committee on 23 January 2024.

Sophie Aujean, Director of Global Advocacy for Fairtrade International, said: “No deal can really be called a Global Green Deal unless the very people who are most impacted – the climate-vulnerable small-scale farmers and workers in countries disadvantaged by unfair global trade structures – have an equal say in it. The Global Green Deal we’re calling for will enable a bold and fair transition in Europe and beyond.”

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