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Climate change will cut land for coffee by more than 50%, report says

coffee plant
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Climate change will reduce the land available for coffee by 54% by 2100 even if global temperatures are contained to internationally agreed targets, according to a new report.

Coffee growers from Honduras to Ethiopia said they are already suffering from climate destabilization and the charity Christian Aid is calling on the U.K. Government to help by canceling historic debts and raising money to pay for climate loss and damage.

The charity has calculated that rising temperatures and unpredictable conditions will shrink the world's land suitable for growing by 54.4%, even if are limited to 1.5-2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

More than half the coffee drank in the U.K. comes from Brazil and Vietnam, two countries particularly vulnerable to .

Vietnam clocked its highest ever temperature on record last week at 44.1 degrees Celsius (111.38 Fahrenheit), while neighboring countries also experienced new extremes.

Rising temperatures, as well as erratic rainfall, disease, droughts and landslides brought on by human-induced climate change threaten to shrink the coffee industry and impoverish its producers.

Yadira Lemus, a Honduran coffee farmer, said, "As a coffee producer, it is more and more difficult to produce. And yes, that is obviously related to climate change because before we would plant coffee and it produced almost by itself.

"With regard to climate change, we are seeing an increase in . It is harder to predict the weather. Before we could say which is winter or summer, and when we can plant. Not anymore.

"We cannot say that because it changes from one year to the other and it is not easy to predict. Who was going to predict that we were going to have the storms and hurricanes we had last year?

"Now you see there is a lack of rain. We are more vulnerable to these types of changes."

Christian Aid issued its dire warning in a new report, Wake up and smell the coffee: The climate crisis and your coffee, which calls for a cancelation of "unjust" debts and to help farmers diversify their livelihoods.

Yitna Tekaligne, the charity's Ethiopia country manager, said, "Africans make up 17% of the world's population but we generate just 4% of the that have caused the climate crisis. And yet it is we who are suffering the brunt of the impacts of climate change.

"Our coffee industry is Ethiopia's most important export and generates significant employment. But now it is under threat from climate change.

"The impact of climate change on is in , including through high levels of coffee leaf rust.

"There is a lot the U.K. Government can do, starting with using its power to get Western private creditors to cancel the debts of the world's and mobilizing the vital finance we need to address the loss and damage caused to our country by the climate crisis."

David Taylor, Fairtrade Foundation's senior policy manager, said, "This timely report from Christian Aid highlights what Fairtrade coffee farmers have been telling us for some time: the catastrophic consequences of climate breakdown is endangering not only their livelihoods, but also the future of their popular crop.

"Farming communities have a critical role in addressing the crisis and have the expertise to tackle it.

"However, too many smallholder coffee farmers—particularly those without the financial protections Fairtrade offers—simply cannot afford to do so, because the price they receive for their produce is far too low. This is unjust."

2023 dpa GmbH.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Citation: Climate change will cut land for coffee by more than 50%, report says (2023, May 15) retrieved 22 September 2023 from
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