What climate change means for your daily brew

Sky News

Climate change could be threatening the much-loved British cup of tea and the livelihoods and homes of those who grow it. Extreme weather and rising temperatures mean both the amount of land available for growing tea and the taste of the leaves produced are being affected.

A report from Christian Aid suggests that optimal conditions for tea production in Kenya, the biggest exporter of black tea could fall by a quarter by 2050. Half of all the tea drunk in the UK is grown in Kenya, and now it’s facing prolonged droughts, which mean the optimum tea growing areas could be severely affected.

Well, joining me now from Nairobi is Mohamed Adow, who’s the director of Power Shift Africa, an energy and climate think tank.

Anna Jones:  How great is the threat from climate change to tea growing there in Kenya?

Mohamed Adow: Tea, which is a very important commodity that is produced in Kenya is currently under threat from climate change. Many parts of the country that grow tea have been suffering from some of the worst effects of climate change, and hence, affecting the livelihoods of farmers.

Anna Jones: In the UK and Ireland, we drink more tea per person than any other country around the world, I hear. So, could the UK do more? Would you like the UK to do more?

Mohamed Adow: UK is the creator of the industrial revolution.
Together with the rest of the rich world, they produce the greatest percentage of greenhouse gases, which cause climate change. It’s people like our tea farmers who contributed the least, we’ve imprinted the lightest carbon footprint on the planet, yet they are the ones suffering the most from the impact of climate change… So, what we need, as we prepare for Glasgow for Cop 26, is for all countries to ramp up the emissions reduction pledges so that we can put the world on a safe trajectory that is effectively going to not only help protect the tea growing population, but also all communities in the front line.

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