Climate Justice and Trade Justice: 4 Key Points

Climate Justice and Trade Justice: 4 Key Points

There is increasing recognition that climate justice, addressing the global climate crisis of a warming world, also means addressing trade justice with regard to farmers in the Global South. These farmers are vital for the food supply of the region, and they are among the people most affected by climate change. 
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1- Trade Rules Encourage Fossil Fuel Use
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At present, trade and investment agreements prohibit export and import restrictions on fossil fuels | https://www.tjm.org.uk/trade-issues/climate-change |. Typically trade agreements include national treatment for trade in gas, which incentivizes continued dependency on fossil fuel that produces considerable greenhouse gas emissions.
Of course, this also encourages continued fracking. It is harder to move toward a world of greener, alternative fuel sources, and sustainability | Learn more on Commonshare | when fossil fuels are so plentiful and profitable.     
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2- Climate Change & Trade Policy Harm Farmers in the Global South 
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Across the world, some 500 million small-scale farmers | https://fairworldproject.org/no-climate-justice-without-trade-justice/ |, many in the Global South, face similar challenges from the twin perils of climate change and exploitative trade policies. Many of these farmers represent indigenous traditions that are increasingly under siege in this age of industrial agriculture and globalization – all the more because of climate change. 
Indeed, it is best to understand the current crisis as composed of two mutually reinforcing challenges: the climate, and the trade policies associated with globalization. 
The climate crisis brings unseasonal floods, droughts, and crop diseases – a consequence of changed climate. This puts added pressure on small-scale farmers who are already struggling because of policies that favor multinational corporations and large-scale industrial farming. 
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3- Fair Trade and Climate Resilience are Connected 
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Some of the best answers to the crisis confronting small-scale farmers in the Global South are coming from the Fair Trade movement, which is also linked with efforts to promote environmental sustainability. 
There is increasing recognition of the link between trade justice – Fair Trade – and climate justice, particularly efforts to help farmers achieve climate resilience. For one thing, small-scale farmers play an important role in the movement to adopt regenerative, organic farming and agroecology, which together hold a great deal of promise to sequester carbon and help to feed the world. 
 
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4- Small-Scale Farms Are Big Players in Food Security
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When one speaks of “small-scale farmers” or “small famers”, it is important to understand that collectively the impact of these farmers is anything but small. 
The more than 500 million small-scale farmers in the Global South already produce more than 80 percent of all food | http://www.fairtradetowns.org/20-news-events-conferences/344-no-climate-justice-without-trade-justice | consumed in Global South countries. This means that they are already some of the most important players, and viewed as a bloc they are crucial for the food security of the Global South and the world as a whole.
Together with rural workers, these small-scale farmers have been affected by the climate crisis more than practically anyone else, but they have been overlooked in trade and climate policy. 
The world cannot afford to ignore these people any longer. Only by empowering these voices through Fair Trade and other trade policy changes and integrating a trade justice approach will it be possible to achieve climate justice and climate resilience.  
 

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