Greenwashing: the new term to watch out for!

Greenwashing (Img src: eatgreen.foodandwaterinstitute.org)
Greenwashing (Img src: eatgreen.foodandwaterinstitute.org)

When chemical companies start supporting a climate smart initiative you know the smell of money is greater than the principles that surround the initiative. The greenwashing of climate change in the manner described below is of concern* and as such readers need to read between the lines in matters such as these to determine what & where motivating factors are:

Dear Friends and Colleagues

My apologies if it’s not the first time you’ve received this mail. Attached you’ll find a new statement on climate-smart agriculture (CSA) and the Global Alliance on Climate Smart Agriculture. It invites governments not to be fooled by the concept and the alliance on climate smart agriculture while calling for agroecology to be broadly supported. This is the follow-up of two previous letters that were published in July and September 2014. You can find those letters, the list of signatories and useful resources – such as reports and briefings – at the following address: http://www.climatesmartagconcerns.info

Among others elements, we are extremely concerned by

  • the energy pushed behind this concept and this initiative as it threatens the development and the upscaling of agroecology.
  •  The fact that its promoters are pushing for Community Supported Agriculture to be included in the different spaces and processes related to climate and agriculture and threatening others (such as the Committee on World Food security)
  • The fact that some of agriculture’s least environmentally sensitive actors – 60% of the private sector membership of the alliance is related to the fertilizer industry – were welcomed into the alliance while Kelloggs, Walmart and McDonalds have launched their own Climate-smart agriculture programs.

In the attached statement we outline our concerns and highlighted some recommendation related to the most urgent risks related to the cooptation of the concept of climate-smart agriculture: the COP21 (the UN climate change negotiations in Paris starting 30 November) and the development of criteria for projects that will be funded by the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Indeed, in November, the GCF board will approve the first projects and programs and there is a significant risk that CSA would be officially endorsed and funded through international climate finance. But our main recommendation dominates the document: agroecology needs to be the pillar on which agricultural policies are based.

We hope that these concerns and messages resonate with the ones of your organisations.

Kind regards

François Delvaux

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* The EAAA has expressed its support for the concern outlined in this letter. 

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