Social justice and climate justice: Fair Vibe at the Youth Climate Conference
Pia Niebel together with Benjamin Speidel and Gina Stelzer
At LCOY Germany, the local youth climate conference, views on climate protection from all political spectrums are discussed. The Fairactivists, a programme of Fairtrade Germany, participated with a panel discussion on the link between social justice and climate justice.
LCOY is neither a newly discovered animal nor the term for a new version of the coronavirus. LCOY, spoken [‘elkoi] is the abbreviation for Local Conference of Youth, a national youth climate conference on climate protection which is supportet by the Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz. The ancient starting point was the first COP (Conference of the Parties) – the official climate conference of the international community. Since 2009, the annual COY (Conference of Youth) has been organised as a platform for young people in particular to network and expand their expertise. LCOY is an offshoot of COY, connecting young people who want to shape the future and develop ideas for a sustainable and environmentally friendly world. The results are collected and passed on to the COY. Meanwhile, LCOYs can be found on all continents, in 2021 in India, Nepal, Kenya, Haiti, Panama, Turkmenistan, Timor-Leste and many more.
The 5th German LCOY took place end of October at the Leuphana University in Lüneburg, where around 1,200 young people joined. More than 150 speakers, including Federal Ministers such as Volker Wissing, were part of the conference. In addition, there were over 250 contributions inform of workshops, discussions, and networking activities. The overall seven focus topics were COP27, Skill Building, Politics Up Close, Connect & Create, Climate Science. Economy and Culture & Society.
This year we were allowed to participate as FairActivists in the climate conference. At the LCOY, we have prepared a panel discussion on climate justice and fair trade, because climate change is more than an environmental problem. It is a question of social justice, because not everyone in the world is equally affected by the climate catastrophe. At the same time, however, not all people have equally caused the climate crisis. Therefore, we are campaigning for climate justice! Our aim was to exchange ideas at eye level, inspire each other and raise awareness on issues of global justice, fair trade and individual and institutional responsibilities. First we presented an input on current adaptation and mitigation processes of Fairtrade and moderated afterwards a subsequent discussion session.
Climate change threatens crops and yields, in particular through irregular rainfall, droughts, heat waves and pests. Weather related risks are exacerbated by climate change and lead to existential problems for producers if no adaption measures are practiced.
The goal are sustainable goods and food, but it must start with the producers and supply them with tools, knowledge, and resources for more resilience in cultivation and production techniques.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals emphasize the need to combat poverty and hunger while investing in quality education (SDG 1,2 & 4). SDG 8 aims decent working conditions that go hand in hand with sustainable consumption and production (SDG 12). Climate protection measures (SDG 13) are central to achieve this goal. License partners are interested in sustainable supply chains, partly due to due diligence, which leads to investments.
Fairtrade has developed several solutions to counter social injustice in the climate crisis. In particular, the combination of climate adaptation, i. e. climate adaptation, together with climate mitigation, i. e. mitigation or climate protection measures, is essential. In addition to the provision of diversified cultivation plans and trainee programmes, the exchange of knowledge between farmers is being intensified. Fairtrade helps the producer coordinate and train them for climate advocacy. Opportunities of green business are given primarily to women and youth. Overall, Fairtrade aim for sustainable impacts, which means that economic, environmental, and social aspects are integrated into the climate strategy. The reasoning behind this is summarized by Deborah Osei-Mensah, Fairtrade Youth Ambassador:
“There’s no social justice on a broken planet.”.
... – So let us fight together for a sustainable and fair world!