Co-operatives in all sectors are confronting climate change – for example:
A number of co-operatives have taken leadership roles at the international level partnering with the United Nations Environment Programme’s Climate Neutral Network, committing to the UN Global Compact "Caring for Climate" action platform, and many more are active at the national level. Equally, if not more important, however, are the actions taken on a daily basis by large and small co-operatives who are conscious that every effort no matter how small, can contribute to slowing climate change impacts. These activities however are not new. After all, co-operatives have been active in promoting sustainable development for over 150 years.
Because co-operatives are democratically controlled business, operating under values and principles which include social responsibility and caring for their communities, they strive to serve members not solely in economic terms, but also in the larger social, cultural and environmental scope. Today, the international community is challenged by the food crisis and reconstruction efforts following natural disasters - both of which can at least in part be attributed to climate change.
Farmers, consumers and communities directly touched by these crises are finding that cooperatives are assisting to the difficult task of adapting to the negative impacts of climate change. Co-operatives can help farmers address the increasing production challenges and provide greater stability of the farming sector while respecting environmental resources.
Communities having to rebuild local economies following natural calamities can also seek a self-help option to address their needs through co-operatives, and can count on solidarity based on the principle of co-operation among co-operatives. Recognising that climate change is one of the most critical global challenges of our time, ICA’s membership affirmed at its General Assembly in 2007 its commitment to address the causes of climate change and reduce its impact and real progress has been made. However, increased challenges and stress on the environment continue to grow and so further attention is required by all.
On this International Day of Co-operatives, the ICA calls on co-operators throughout the world to strengthen their activities in promoting sustainable development, celebrate actions that are already contributing substantively to mitigating climate change and work in partnership to ensure that co-operatives make significant contributions in confronting the climate change challenge.
6 de August de 2015