The World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) is a huge global association of 401 member organisations, all of whom are absolutely committed to making it possible for severely disadvantaged producers to improve their livelihoods, benefitting their wider communities. These are my heros!
This year, on World Fair Trade Day, the focus is on Climate rather than commodity prices.
It is strange isn't it, that the Coalition and the Labour Parties have been so quiet on Climate, when the world is starting to make so much noise about Climate Action.
When the World Forum on Climate asked Australia to take action to reduce our Carbon Emissions, Scott Morrison defended his party's inaction by claiming that Australia is well down the list of big carbon emitters.
China, the United States, India, Russia and Japan are the top 5 Carbon Emitting nations in the world, and way ahead of other nations in their Carbon and Greenhouse emissions. Just to give this context, China's Carbon Emissions were approximately 11680.42 million metric tons in 2020, with the US emitting 4535.30 million metric tons in the same year. At the same time Australia produced 526 million metric tons.
These statistics make us look pretty good until we look at Carbon Emissions per Capita, and then China and the USA are not even in the top ten Carbon Emitters, but Australia is.
In fact, we are well ahead of all top five Carbon Emitters in our carbon emissions per person. And that is something that our Parliament needs to start talking about.
When we talk Climate Change, we are most concerned about how it will affect our own nation. We have failed to note that the biggest emitters worldwide are well equipped to change their behaviours in order to reduce their carbon impact, and also have the finances and expertise to adapt to the challenges of a changing climate.
Poor nations do not emit significant greenhouse gasses, and do not have the finances or resources available to adapt to a changing climate, but they will suffer the consequences of our inaction.
In 2015 Pacific Nations held a forum asking Australia and New Zealand to limit their emissions. They asked us to do more to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees.
This image captures a woman as she navigates across a failed attempt to reclaim land in the lagoon of Tarawa, on the Pacific island nation of Kiribati.
Our neighbour Fiji has already had to move 40 of their communities away from the coast where the sea level has risen. This has cost this poor nation over a million Fijian dollars, money that was needed for basic education and community building. Fiji is a very small contributor to Global CO2 Emissions: just 0.006% of all emissions.
The WFTO works with so many small nations like Fiji who are trying to adapt to a changing climate.
So for this World Fair Trade Day the WFTO is working to promote Climate Justice.
Fair Trade is committed to restoring and repairing our environment. Sustainability is a primary goal of Fair Trade business models.
Nearly 75% of the small nation of Bangladesh is below sea level. They now have over 2000 people per day moving to the capital city Dhaka, because of Climate challenges in their costal communities.
Pictured: Pebble Toys makers
Pebble Toys intentionally started working to stop this flow of climate refugees in 2014 by giving women in southern coastal areas of Bangladesh an alternative income. These women, desperate for income, would go into the forests and cut down trees in order to sell firewood. The loss of tree growth was impacting the coastal wetlands, and causing significant erosion. The women now have income from the making of beautiful Fair Trade crochet Pebble Toys. Their income from toy making is enough for their families to both survive and to thrive, and the community is now able to send children to school, secondary colleges and on to university. What a huge change.
And please, as you vote on Saturday, consider the consequences of our silence on Climate, for all of us.
- Carbon Footprint by Country 2022. Authors: World Population Review Read Here
- The Guardian: Australia is shown to have the highest Carbon Emissions...Read here
- CSIRO: Climate Change in Australia Read Here
- Euro News.Green: here
- WFTO: Join the Business Revolution. Read here
- Worldometre.info/CO2 Read here
- Pebble Toys and Climate Change in Bangladesh. Read here.