Fairmiles calls for science-based net-zero guidelines

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The Climate Justice Initiative says net zero guidelines for air cargo are critical to protecting market access for developing world producers.

Fermils, an initiative supported by a coalition of organizations in industry and academia, calls for science-based net zero guidelines to reduce the social and economic impacts of greenhouse gas emissions.

Without such guidelines, Fermils argues, there is a significant risk that businesses will adopt carbon-diversion policies that ignore the broader sustainability benefits and impacts, including climate justice implications for vulnerable communities in global supply chains.

While Fermils supports zero emissions, the consortium makes the following points regarding air cargo.

  • Airborne fresh produce in developing countries supports low carbon and sustainable development. It provides producers with vital access to international markets, giving millions of people a way out of poverty.
  • Airfreight from developing countries ensures consumers on low incomes, but with a very high social impact, access to high-quality sun-ripened produce (in contrast, airfreight exports from the UK are controlled by the relatively small salmon industry. Social and economic impact).
  • Most air cargo fresh produce from developing countries is carried by commercial airlines on scheduled passenger services.
  • Targeting air-freighted fresh produce hurts poor producers and workers in developing countries.
  • Aligning net zero policies with climate justice principles is based on accepted sustainability best practices.

Fermils says its aim is to support industry to ensure a just transition to zero-emissions for vulnerable people in low- and middle-income countries. It follows earlier initiatives that sought to raise awareness of the benefits of air transport to developing countries. This includes a report published by IIED and Oxfam in 2009 which estimated that between 1 and 1.5 million livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa are directly or indirectly dependent on UK-based supply chains.

The consortium aims to publish research to provide updated information on air transport impacts and host an industry roundtable on December 15 to discuss how to pursue a fairer approach to Net Zero.

Fermils was established in partnership with Beanstalk.Global, Blue Skies, Air France-KLM Cargo, COLEAD, University of Exeter, University of Northampton and ODI. Africa Fresh Produce is supported by a consortium of over 15 organizations representing businesses, the air cargo industry, academia and the international development sector.

For more information or to register for the December 15 roundtable event, please visit https://blueskies.com/global/fairmiles/ or relationship simon.derrick@blueskies.com

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