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This year’s Pinocchio Awards are set out to expose the corporations guiltiest of undermining climate action. Focusing on climate change and food sovereignty, one corporation particularly stands out. Yara, the Norwegian global leader in synthetic fertilisers made this year’s Pinocchio nominee under the category ‘greenwashing.’ According to Audrey Arjoune from Peuples Solidaires and ActionAid France, Yara has been chosen as a Pinocchio Award candidate due to their use of the Global Alliance for ‘climate-smart agriculture’ (GACSA) in an attempt to market their synthetic fertilisers as part of a (green) solution, rather than admitting that it is a major driver of climate change.
Synthetic fertilisers have been found to be the largest source of emissions caused by farming due to the release of nitrous oxide (N2O) into the atmosphere. Alarmingly, the gas has 300 times the warming effect of carbon dioxide. Furthermore, the application of synthetic fertilisers are responsible for preventing organic matter to stay in the soil, which naturally helps to preserve water. This is especially problematic for farmers in the Global South that are already facing climate impacts such as droughts, and limited access to water. Yara’s synthetic fertilisers have penetrated local markets in the south and have monopolised, causing the corporate giants to maximise their profits whilst limiting options for local farmers.
Corporate giants such as Yara, Monsanto and Syngenta are rejecting to challenge the industrial agricultural model and are benefitting from the slogan of ‘climate-smart’ due to the fact that there is no true definition of what the concept entails. Therefore, without any specific social or environmental criteria, corporations can continue to push for genetically modified organisms, and the selling of biofuels and synthetic fertilisers. The concept of ‘climate-smart agriculture’ has been rejected and denounced by civil society organisations (CSOs) because it is having such disastrous impacts and is not believed to be a viable solution. Arjoune claims the real solution in order to deal with the impacts of climate change is to transform our current industrial agricultural model to one that focuses on ecological and small scale farming practices. This is the only way to ensure food sovereignty and sane farming systems.
To vote for Yara as this years Pinocchio Award winner, visit www.pinocchio-awards.org
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