More ambition is needed in tackling climate change

More ambition is needed in tackling climate change

11 Dec 2017

The consequences of climate change are horrifying: more and more severe natural disasters, more drought, poverty and people on the run. We can turn the tide if we join forces and increase our efforts. Let’s inspire each other with examples of how things can be done differently. BULA! The Fijian word for “welcome” to the 23rd UN Climate Summit.

Ending poverty, hunger and diseases and tackling the climate are inextricably linked. That is why tackling climate change is part of all sustainable development goals, such as the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. And that is why FairClimateFund is committed to fair climate projects in developing countries. This not only ensures a better climate, but also more income, improved health and food security, but at the same time makes communities resilient to the consequences of climate change.

Not fair
The consequences of a lifestyle in which we are dependent on fossil fuels are major. Experts make no bones about it. Climate change deprives millions of people of the opportunity for prosperity. Climate change has a multiplier effect on many existing risks. It multiplies the risk of crop failures, destruction of income sources and hunger, of fragile states, of displacement and of mass death. It constitutes an obstacle to the realization of basic human rights, such as the right to adequate food. It is precisely the people who hardly contribute to global warming that are the greatest victims of the consequences; the people in the poorest regions in the world. They are already dealing with the consequences of climate change every day: more violent hurricanes, more drought, less predictable harvests, more food shortages. It is difficult to tell an honest story about climate change.

That is why FairClimateFund, together with Fairtrade International, Gold Standard and DHL, presented the benefits of the recently launched Fairtrade Carbon Credits during an interactive discussion at the Climate Summit. Climate projects that comply with the Fairtrade Climate Standard distinguish themselves mainly by offering better social and economic conditions to the families that generate the Carbon Credits. For example, they receive a Fairtrade minimum price, an extra Fairtrade premium for adaptation measures and they own the Carbon Credits, which is unique in the world.

Strengthening the position of women
Another good example of the result of FairClimateFund’s fair climate projects is strengthening the position of local women. In the packed South African Pavilion, FairClimateFund, together with WOCAN (Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management) and Solar Cookers International’s, talked about the benefits of cleaner cooking for women. Thanks to improved cooking ovens or – even better – the use of biogas, a lot of wood is saved. This not only leads to better health due to the reduced smoke, but also to significant time savings for women who no longer have to gather wood. Women can use this time to do other work that strengthens their position in the family and the local community.

This Climate Summit showed us again the urgency of the climate problem. Even though the many negotiations, presentations and words that have been said are and remain necessary, the time for action is NOW! Words must be translated into actions and I sincerely hope that the next Climate Summit will focus even more on this!

Neera van der Geest
Director FairClimateFund