Choose the World You Want
Fairtrade Fortnight 2021, 22 February – 7 March
Farmers affected by Climate Change
The Fairtrade Foundation explains the following on its website: ‘The facts are straightforward. Farmers and workers in the global south, who have done the least to contribute to climate change, are disproportionately affected.’ (https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/get-involved/current-campaigns/fairtrade-fortnight/)
Farmers report that one of their biggest challenges is climate change. The low prices they receive for their crops do not provide the finances needed to take action to maintain a viable business in the face of unpredictable weather patterns. For this they need a fair price for their produce, allowing them extra money to invest in sustainable, climate-resilient businesses.
But with the pandemic, things are even more difficult. Commodity prices are falling and global supply chains have faltered, leading to greater poverty and greater injustice in a world where global trading systems are already set to benefit the powerful and wealthy. The coronavirus pandemic has exposed many inequalities in our society and across the world. In developing countries the combined effect of coronavirus, climate change and trade deals that suppress farmers’ and workers’ wages makes existence more precarious.
Choose the World You Want
The Fairtrade Fortnight theme for this year is Choose the World You Want. In an online festival participants will be informed about the current challenges for such farmers, and encouraged to speak out to highlight the injustices faced by many who are struggling to survive. By our words and actions, we can choose to shape a better world.
Alongside this, Traidcraft Exchange has begun a new campaign to tackle one aspect of the imbalance of world trade. A team of six countries has developed a plan to end fossil fuel subsidies and set up a green trade agreement. The UK subsidises fossil fuels to the tune of £10 billion a year, making it cheaper to extract oil, gas and coal – the very things that drive climate change and threaten our planet, affecting the poorest communities in the world first and hardest. If these subsidies were withdrawn, green energy companies would be able to grow and provide ever greater contributions to energy supplies.
A new petition on Traidcraft Exchange’s website seeks to inform the government of public desire for the UK to join this new green trade agreement: the Agreement on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainability (ACCTS). It is a challenge to withdraw the fossil fuel subsidies, and take seriously the need to tackle climate change. If you support this cause, you can sign here: https://traidcraftexchange.org/accts
It is easy to feel that as individuals we are powerless to bring about change when we see obvious injustices. There are forces and powers at play which seem unstoppable.
Jesus didn't give up, nether must we
Jesus, bringing the good news of God’s kingdom of love, justice, forgiveness and restoration, found he was facing the fixed mindset of the religious leaders, who with the best of intentions strictly upheld the letter of the law and seemed to understand nothing about God’s love and grace, furthermore holding the belief that wealth was a sign of God’s favour, and poverty the punishment for sin. Wealth and poverty were God’s ordained order. Behind and towering over the religious leaders was the power and abominable presence of the Roman Empire. Surely Jesus would have to give in, give up trying to change hearts and lives?
We know that he didn’t. And because he didn’t, we mustn’t either.
Together we can choose the world we want. In supporting fairtrade and speaking out against climate injustice, we can help to alleviate poverty now, and we can be part of revealing the hope of the coming of God’s kingdom in its fullness: a kingdom of love, justice, forgiveness and restoration.