We want system change not climate change

Press Release, Brussels 4 March 2015

Today, the European Coordination of Via Campesina (ECVC), brought together over 50 farmers, MEPs, and representatives of the European Commission for the ‘Climate change: Peasant answers´ conference in Brussels. This follows the General Assembly of the European Coordination Via Campesina, where representatives of 28 European farming organisations met for 3 days to discuss the strategy and priorities of the movement. With new members joining and an increasing participation of young people, this assembly highlights the increasing relevance and power of ECVC in fields and farms across Europe.

 In 2015 ECVC will denounce the false solutions to climate change offered by climate smart agriculture and the green economyWe affirm that it is peasant and small-scale farmers, using agro-ecological methods, who are the solution to the climate crisis. This is the message that we will take to the 21st Climate Conference in Paris this December and this is why we will continue to resist the negotiation of bilateral ´free-trade´ agreements such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) by the European Commission.

Today´s conference highlights the contradictions between global agreements to combat climate change and free-trade policies, such as TTIP, which are founded on the destruction of public instruments for intervention in markets and production. The conference reaffirmed that the so-called ‘solutions’ to climate change that are often pointed at the global level are part of the problem.

In response to the need for carbon credits, the industrialized world is resorting to land grabbing and the hoarding of other natural resources in many southern countries, for the large scale planting of intensive forests and bio-fuel production. These processes destroy ecosystems and force rural and indigenous communities from their land.

Equally false is the ‘climate-smart agriculture’ from the so-called green capitalism with a whole new set of agritech products (GMOs, Fertilizers, pesticides) and that does not do more than aggravate the problem of global warming, through the industrialization of the production model.

Andrea Ferrante, a peasant farmer from Italy, said “We peasants have the answers. Current policies are leading to further industrialisation in agriculture which is the wrong direction – it is peasant and small-scale farmers, using agro-ecological methods, who are the solution to the climate crisis. We can feed people while cooling the climate.”

Today ECVC reaffirms the need for an alternative system based on small farms and the agro-ecological model which is not dependent on fossil fuels and therefore able to cool the planet. It is imperative that we change the system to stop the system changing the climate.

Spokespersons:

IT, EN – Andrea Ferrante: 00393480189221

FR – Geneviéve Savigny: 0033625551687

ES – Unai Aranguren: 0034636451572

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