The Clock is Ticking!
COP27 is about to start and we're bracing ourselves for some challenging and crucial actions about the future of human impact (and life) in a changing climate.
COP stands for Conference of the Parties, generically addressing every committee created to follow-up on the implementation of an international treaty. Yet, it is now mostly associated with the committee of signatory countries created after adopting the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992.
This year, the 27th Conference will be held in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt, beginning 6th November 2022. Politicians, diplomats and national delegates present their commitments and share the debate with non-state actors, unfortunately mainly corporate representatives from the fossil fuel industry. Although outnumbered, civil society organisations and environmental defenders will also make their voices heard.
Just and fair transition is the biggest challenge at stake. This year's conference will likely focus on firmer implementation plans, hopefully, stopping immediately the subsidies for the fossil fuel industry and redirecting the volume and scope of those financial flows towards renewable and less impactful sources of energy. 'Loss and damage' climate reparations will also be a core and confrontational theme, as the poorest and least contributing countries are also the most affected by the effects of climate change. As representatives of the Fair Trade Enterprises and activists, we'll closely follow the discussions. As stated in the joint position paper, the Fair Trade movement demands stronger governmental protection for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), due to their climate actions and pioneer role for the new sustainable economy.
They are showcasing business models that promote energy efficiency and transition to renewables, strengthen community capacity and equitable gender relations, restore soil health and protect natural habitats. Fair Trade Enterprises have been doing this through relentless work, shared responsibility and partnerships that have enabled them to sustain the unfair competition on international markets. Yet, it's high time they got the due recognition and support. Carbon offsets are nice but far from enough! We need a new low-carbon, a fair economy that has rights holders (not shareholders) at its core. Just transition and environmental justice can't be achieved without rethinking (inter)national value chains and trade policies.
We'll be reminding Conference Parties that if human and environmental rights are non-negotiables, the current status quo needs to be changed immediately.
There's no climate justice without trade justice. Click here to read the position paper.