Campaigners with the Croydon Fairtrade Network have called on negotiators at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow to ensure farmers in the Global South are protected from the impacts of the climate crisis.

On Sunday (November 7), as the pivotal summit reached its halfway point, the group took to the streets of Croydon town centre and encouraged shoppers to act with their wallets and support fairtrade farmers amid the worsening effects of global heating.

Like millions of other campaigners worldwide, the Croydon Fairtrade Network also demanded richer developed nations make good on their promise to provide US$100 billion per year to developing nations to help them transition away from fossil fuels as fast as possible.

"Increasing extreme weather means 1.8 million fairtrade farmers around the world are now experiencing events that are devastating to crops, from droughts in Madagascar to floods in Uganda," a spokesperson for the group said. "Not only destroying livelihoods in the short term, these weather events have long term consequences for land and resources, causing rising tensions in many regions. But there is hope. We have the know-how to combat these challenges. From planting trees to protect cocoa from the sun in Ghana, to providing bees with increased access to food in Guatemala, we can do something to protect our planet and the livelihoods of millions across the globe," they added.

Climate campaigners have pointed out that concrete actions to phase out fossil fuel use within decades, as the latest scientific estimates say is needed to avert catastrophic warming, has so far been largely absent from the COP26 negotiations.

However, a number of more specific measures have been agreed to, including an agreement to cut methane emissions such as those from agriculture by 30 per cent by 2030.

As for the estimated 1.8 million fairtrade farmers supported by the Croydon Fairtrade Network, the group said they needed support with adaptation amid already severe impacts of the climate crisis, from severe droughts to increasingly extreme storms, wildfires, floods and crop failure.

"In Croydon we are standing side by side with farmers across the world in asking global leaders to commit to fair finance to tackle this challenge," the group said. "We’ll be looking out for the Fairtrade logo on our purchases and encouraging restaurants, cafes, and shops to stock Fairtrade products. In this way, together, we can support the workers who make the food we eat, and help them face the climate challenge."