At COP26 this week, more than 100 countries committed to ending deforestation by 2030. But deforestation of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest has only accelerated since far-right President Jair Bolsonaro took office in January 2019. 60 percent of the world’s rainforest are in Brazil.
If there is to be any prospect of meeting that 2030 target, the world needs Brazil on board. That’s why statesmen like U.S. climate envoy John Kerry applauded the country when Brazil’s environment minister announced on Monday at COP26 an ambition to end illegal deforestation two years ahead of that schedule, by 2028.
“Looking forward to working together!”, Kerry wrote on Twitter.
But scientists, nonprofits and indigenous groups are skeptical.
“In the past three years, deforestation has only gone up,” said Luciana Gatti, a scientist at Brazil’s space research agency INPE who studies the Amazon’s role in global climate change.
“Without a radical overhaul of enforcement and the system of environmental fines it will be very difficult to achieve that goal,” she added.
Nadra Nittle, The Guardian »
The coffee industry is both a contributor to the climate crisis and very vulnerable to its effects. Rising demand for coffee has been linked to deforestation in developing nations, damaging biodiversity and releasing carbon emissions. At the same time, coffee producers are struggling with the impacts of more extreme weather, from frosts to droughts. It’s estimated that half of the land used to grow coffee could be unproductive by 2050 due to the climate crisis.
In response to the industry’s challenges, companies and scientists are trying to develop and commercialize coffee made without coffee beans.
VTT’s coffee is grown by floating cell cultures in bioreactors filled with a nutrient. The process requires no pesticides and has a much lower water footprint, said Rischer, and because the coffee can be produced in local markets, it cuts transport emissions. The company is working on a life cycle analysis of the process. “Once we have those figures, we will be able to show that the environmental impact will be much lower than what we have with conventional cultivation,” Rischer said.