No storm in a teacup as research finds climate change threatens future of the British cuppa | Climate News


Climate change could possibly be about to affect a British establishment – by altering the style of a cup of tea, research has warned.

Excessive climate and rising temperatures might have an effect on each the quantity of land accessible for rising tea and the climate wanted to provide the leaves which can be changed into black tea, a report from Christian Help has mentioned.

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Workers picking tea leaves in Kenya, where climate change is threatening production, a report warns
Employees selecting tea leaves in Kenya, the place climate change is threatening manufacturing, a report warns. Pic: AP

The UK and Eire drink extra tea per particular person than every other international locations in the world, with Kenya alone producing half the black tea drunk in the UK.

However Kenya, the world’s largest exporter of black tea, faces extra erratic rainfall, making floods and droughts extra frequent, and rising temperatures, Christian Help has mentioned.

The charity’s report predicts optimum circumstances for tea manufacturing in the East African nation will fall by greater than a quarter (26%) by 2050.

In areas with solely common rising circumstances, manufacturing will drop off by nearly two-fifths (39%).

Different main tea-producing international locations together with India, Sri Lanka, and China, the world’s largest producer whose inexperienced tea is rising in reputation in the UK, additionally face rising temperatures and new climate extremes, the report mentioned.

Not solely is the quantity produced underneath menace, so is the style. The report says extra rain means inferior high quality leaves, and a decreasing of the compounds that make the brew useful to well being.

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Richard Koskei, 72, a tea farmer from Kericho in Kenya’s Western Highlands, mentioned climate change is a “actual menace”.

“We can not predict seasons anymore, temperatures are rising, rainfall is extra erratic, extra typically accompanied by uncommon hailstones and longer droughts which was not the case in the previous,” he mentioned.

“If this continues then it’ll make rising tea a lot tougher and life for us extraordinarily tough.”

He added: “Farmers like us are bearing the brunt of this disaster however we aren’t the ones which have brought on it.”

Fiachra Moloney, of PG Suggestions maker Unilever, added: “In East Africa, the place a lot of our tea comes from, climate change is placing the livelihoods of the individuals who develop tea for us in danger.”

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Beneath the worldwide Paris Settlement, international locations have dedicated to motion to attempt to restrict international warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial ranges – as a result of past that stage, climate impacts will change into more and more extreme.

US President Joe Biden’s Earth Day summit final month noticed world leaders reaffirm their dedication to the climate, and the concern will likely be a focus of subsequent month’s G7 assembly and a devoted occasion later in the yr.

Dr Kat Kramer, Christian Help’s climate coverage lead, mentioned: “As host of each the G7 in June and the COP26 climate summit in November, the UK can be certain that international locations on the entrance line of this disaster can adapt and reply to the impacts of climate change.

“With international locations beginning to announce improved climate plans, there may be a distinctive alternative to speed up cuts in emissions.”

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