OK, so petitions aren't exactly novel. In fact they were used back in the 19th century by the abolitionists (as were most modern campaign methods, with the exception of blogging, I guess). But the reason we still use them is because they work – petitions show how much the public cares about an issue, and they provide evidence for the good guys and scare the bad guys. We've seen them work before, let's make it happen again – dear reader, you can make a difference!
This November, leaders of the world's biggest economies, the G20, are meeting in France – with a focus on agriculture. In the midst of a global food crisis that is pushing millions into poverty, this is our best opportunity to push for emergency solutions to fix the crisis before it gets even worse. But they won't be moved to action unless we can make some serious noise.
Increase transparency: Governments should agree to provide transparent information on the status of food stocks, including from major private sector traders and investors, national/regional reserves (as well as current and predicted supply, demand and export capacity.) Why? Because such information deters speculation, squashes unfounded rumors and helps alert everyone to impending problems.
Regulate financial speculation: G20 governments should establish a regulatory framework to ensure futures markets operate in a fair and transparent manner, without market abuse and excessive speculation. Price limits, position limits and restrictions on passive speculation should be introduced or strengthened, and existing loopholes should be closed.
Biofuels: G20 governments should stop turning food grains into fuel by phasing out their biofuel targets and subsidies and by urgently exploring options for "safety valve” measures that place limits on biofuel production, when global stocks are running dangerously low.
Investment: G20 members should deliver on their previous financial promises to invest in small-scale farming and provide safety nets to people who cannot produce or buy enough food.
Climate adaptation: Developed countries should reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by at least 40% by 2020 to avoid catastrophic and irreversible climate change and provide adequate resources – at least $100 billion per year – to poor countries to adapt to climate change.
Taking these critical actions are just the first steps world leaders need to take to stabilize the crisis – then they need to tackle the root causes of the problem.
The GROW campaign will be there to push them on the solutions we need to live, grow and share better – and you can be part of it today by signing this urgent petition to the G20 for emergency action to fix the food crisis.