COP27: Better Cotton calls on world leaders to ‘support farmers on frontline’

Sustainability initiative Better Cotton has urged leaders at COP27 to prioritise climate justice for the world’s farmers and agriculture workforce.

The organisation, whose members include international fashion and textile brands, calls for more collaboration across the fashion sector and its textile supply chains to create better transparency to support smallholder farming communities.

It said that the fashion industry's key players, including retailers, brands, trade associations, and governments must continue to advance the goals of the Paris Agreement to “avoid catastrophic climate and environmental tipping points”.

Better Cotton says that climate mitigation is only possible if there is sustained investment in regenerative agriculture and sustainable farming.

“We know that climate change poses a great risk to cotton farmers - with rising temperatures and more extreme weather events like flooding and unpredictable rains,” said Alan McClay, chief executive, Better Cotton. “We will help on the ground by incentivising farmers to embrace both climate-smart and regenerative agricultural practices, in turn helping cotton communities survive and thrive.”

Better Cotton warned that changes in temperature and rainfall patterns linked to climate change are likely to make cotton more challenging to grow in many regions, while expected increases in temperatures and the difference in their seasonal patterns could lead to a decrease in the agricultural productivity of some crops.

Changes to the weather could have a significant impact on already vulnerable farming communities around the world.

During the floods in Pakistan the cotton sector was impacted overnight by the extreme weather.

McKinsey figures show that the fashion sector must align with the 1.5-degree pathway over the next eight years and intensify its efforts to make agricultural practices more sustainable, otherwise the industry will miss its 2030 emissions.

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