Farmers and landworkers assemble at COP26

Small-scale farmers will join campaigners for climate justice on a march this weekend at COP to demonstrate that they are an alternative to ‘destructive, high-polluting mainstream farming’.

Farmers, foresters and landworkers are set to march at the climate conference COP26 in Glasgow this week as part of the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice.

As world leaders meet, the The Landworkers’ Alliance (LWA) will be marching with tractors, veg and banners this Saturday 6 November, alongside other groups from the COP26 Coalition; a coalition mobilising around climate justice during the conference. 

The group will be calling for the UK to create a food and land-use system based on agroecology and food sovereignty, two principles which combine sustainable nature-friendly farming with fair trade, worker rights and ethical supply chains.

“Agriculture has historically been an afterthought in climate negotiations, but governments need to realise that our food, farming and land-use systems must be addressed if we are to avoid climate chaos and global hunger,” said LWA head of policy and campaigns, Jyoti Fernandes.

Farmers march
Small-scale farmers and landworkers will march at COP this weekend. Image The Landworkers’ Alliance. 

“We’re mobilising at COP26 to show that alternatives to the destructive, polluting and high-emission dominant farming models do exist – and to promote agroecological farming and sustainable forestry as real solutions to the climate crisis.”

In contrast to the government’s current pursuit of international trade deals that risk undermining sustainable UK food production, one of the LWA’s key messages is that the future lies in local food systems rather than global supply chains based on industrial agriculture.

They also address the meat debate by advocating a ‘less but better’ approach to livestock, as agroecological and pastoralist livestock systems – including tree-based food systems like agroforestry and silvopasture –  are not equivalent to industrial ones in terms of carbon emissions, pollution and the destruction of forests for feed production.

The LWA are among those hosting sessions at The People’s Summit for Climate Justice, an alternative event held in tandem with the leaders talks to bring together the climate justice movement. It is accessible online so people can join in from anywhere in the world.

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