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Coffee and climate

The World Economic Forum, a nongovernmental agency that aims to improve the world by bringing together business, political, academic and societal leaders to help provide solutions to the world’s greatest problems, including climate change.

However, the annual forum has garnered pushback, as some argue it has turned it into an elitist gathering for out-of-touch billionaires in the Swiss Alps town.

Keller’s coffee anecdote came up during a panel on “Putting a Price on Nature.” It's important to note that he didn't advise on the quantity of coffee one should consume or suggest a reduction in coffee intake.

However, he did raise another critical issue — one that coffee aficionados should consider, especially if they’re concerned about the quality of their brew.

“Most of the coffee plantation or most of the coffee is produced through monoculture, and monoculture is also affected by climate change,” Keller pointed out, adding that “the quality of these natural assets is deteriorating quite rapidly.”

Considering that over 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed globally each day, the interplay between coffee and climate change is not just relevant but critical. A modeling study predicts that by the year 2050, approximately half of the land currently used for cultivating high-quality coffee could become unproductive as a result of climate change.

More: How to invest in coffee

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Coffee carbon emissions in context

Of course, coffee isn’t the only dietary element that contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, livestock production is responsible for emitting an estimated 7.1 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent per year, accounting for a significant 14.5% of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions.

Moreover, even the items commonly consumed with coffee also carry their own carbon prints. Research indicates that the production of each ton of sugar results in the emission of 241 kgs of CO2 equivalent into the atmosphere. Additionally, as highlighted by co2everything.com, a single glass of milk (250 mL) generates an equivalent of 0.8 kg of CO2, which is comparable to driving a car for 3.8 kilometers.

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About the Author

Jing Pan

Jing Pan

Investment Reporter

Jing is an investment reporter for MoneyWise. He is an avid advocate of investing for passive income. Despite the ups and downs he’s been through with the markets, Jing believes that you can generate a steadily increasing income stream by investing in high quality companies.

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