Climate Change Predicted to Halve Coffee-Growing Area That Supports 120m People
Climate change is going to halve the area suitable for coffee production and impact the livelihoods of more than 120 million of the world’s poorest people who rely on the coffee economy, according to a new report by the Climate Institute, commissioned by Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand.
The report findings follow stark warnings by some of the world’s biggest coffee producers, including Starbucks and Lavazza, who have said climate change is posing a severe risk to the industry.
Climate change is already impacting coffee crops around the world, according to the report. In Tanzania, where 2.4 million people’s livelihoods rely on coffee, production has fallen by about 137kg per hectare for every 1C rise in the minimum temperature on farms. Overall there has been a 50% decline there since the 1960s.
Extreme temperatures and unusual high-altitude rains have also sparked costly waves of pests and disease through coffee farms. In 2012, coffee leaf rust affected half of the coffee across Central America – some producers in Guatemala lost up to 85% of their crop.