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France: India key player in climate change convention

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New Delhi:  French Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius said India will play a vital role in the discussions of the upcoming session at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP-21) under United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to be commenced from November 30 to December 11 in Paris, France.

The Paris conference will officially be the 21st annual meeting of the COP since the formation of UNFCCC in 1992, and the 11th session of the Meeting of the Parties since it was instated in the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol earlier consented but not by the United States.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President François Hollande are expected to cooperatively launch the International Solar Alliance recommended by India.

Laurent Fabius, who held discussions with Modi and Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar before the essential summit, called India as a “key” actor in the climate change convention. He also added in an interview with a news agency that resolutions “cannot” be accomplished without an agreement with significant countries like India.

Noting that India will not only participate, but realistically enhance the scheme, he further asserted that he is sure that India would provide influential answers to numerous concerns during the summit apart from “steering” other nations northwards.

He significantly commented on the developing relations between both the countries, to emphasise on the collaborative steps by the nations.

“India, for many reasons is the key player and a close friend. It is important that we could understand what the approach of India is when it comes to the summit. The presidency should be impartial and help to find solutions. But the solutions cannot be found without the consensus of the country like India,” said Fabius.

Both the ministers acknowledged to work for an impartial, realistic, inclusive and aspirational treaties, established on the doctrines of Convention of equity, and Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR&RC).

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Climate change can have an effect on the taste of the wines

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Climate change can have an effect on the taste of the wine
Climate change can have an effect on the taste of the wine. wikimedia commons

New York, Jan 3, 2018: Although winegrowers seem reluctant to try new grape varieties apparently to protect the taste of the wines, new research suggests that they will ultimately have to give up on their old habit as planting lesser-known grape varieties might help vineyards to counteract some of the effects of climate change.

vineyards. wikimedia commons

“It’s going to be very hard, given the amount of warming we’ve already committed to… for many regions to continue growing the exact varieties they’ve grown in the past,” said study co-author Elizabeth Wolkovich, Assistant Professor at Harvard University.

“With continued climate change, certain varieties in certain regions will start to fail — that’s my expectation,” she said.

The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, suggests that wine producers now face a choice — proactively experiment with new varieties, or risk suffering the negative consequences of climate change.

“The Old World has a huge diversity of wine grapes — there are overplanted 1,000 varieties — and some of them are better adapted to hotter climates and have higher drought tolerance than the 12 varieties now making up over 80 per cent of the wine market in many countries,” Wolkovich said.

“We should be studying and exploring these varieties to prepare for climate change,” she added.

Unfortunately, Wolkovich said, convincing wine producers to try different grape varieties is difficult at best, and the reason often comes down to the current concept of terroir.

Terroir is the notion that a wine’s flavour is a reflection of where which and how the grapes were grown.

Thus, as currently understood, only certain traditional or existing varieties are part of each terroir, leaving little room for change.

The industry — both in the traditional winegrowing centres of Europe and around the world — faces hurdles when it comes to making changes, Wolkovich said.

In Europe, she said, growers have the advantage of tremendous diversity.

They have more than 1,000 grape varieties to choose from. Yet strict labelling laws have created restrictions on their ability to take advantage of this diversity.

For example, just three varieties of grapes can be labelled as Champagne or four for Burgundy.

Similar restrictions have been enacted in many European regions – all of which force growers to focus on a small handful of grape varieties.

“The more you are locked into what you have to grow, the less room you have to adapt to climate change,” Wolkovich said.

New World winegrowers, meanwhile, must grapple with the opposite problem — while there are few, if any, restrictions on which grape varieties may be grown in a given region, growers have little experience with the diverse — and potentially more climate change adaptable — varieties of grapes found in Europe, the study said.

Just 12 varieties account for more than 80 per cent of the grapes grown in Australian vineyards, Wolkovich said.

More than 75 per cent of all the grapes grown in China is Cabernet Sauvignon — and the chief reason why has to do with consumers.

“They have all the freedom in the world to import new varieties and think about how to make great wines from a grape variety you’ve never heard of, but they’re not doing it because the consumer hasn’t heard of it,” Wolkovich said. (IANS)

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