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World’s richest 10 percent people produce 50 percent carbon emission: Oxfam

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New Delhi: The world’s richest 10 percent of the people are responsible for around 50 percent of global carbon emissions, said a study by Oxfam.

The report, titled ‘Extreme Carbon Inequality: Why the Paris Climate deal must put the poorest, lowest emitting and most vulnerable people first’, was released at a time when global leaders have met in Paris for the crucial UN Climate Change Conference.

“The poorest half of the global population are responsible for only around 10 percent of global emissions, yet live overwhelmingly in the countries most vulnerable to climate change – while the richest 10 percent of people are responsible for around 50 percent of global emissions,” the report said.

Climate change is “inextricably linked to economic inequality”, it said, adding that, “it is a crisis that is driven by the greenhouse gas emissions of the ‘haves’ that hits the ‘have-nots’ the hardest”.

“Governments in Paris need to stand up to their influence, and stand up for their citizens – the poorest, lowest emitting and most vulnerable among them first and foremost – if Paris is to deliver an agreement for those who need it most,” said the study that was released on Wednesday.

While CoP 21 in Paris will see a deal negotiated between governments on the basis of the total emissions produced in their territories, “the real winners and losers will be their citizens”, the study added.

Comparing the average lifestyle consumption footprints of richer and poorer citizens in a range of countries, the study says that “some emerging economies like China, India, Brazil and South Africa have high and rapidly rising emissions”.

The lifestyle consumption emissions of even these countries’ richest citizens remain some way behind that of their counterparts in rich OECD nations – an international economic organisation of 34 nations which includes US, Britain, Canada and others, it added.

The report proves India’s point that rich countries cannot put blame and responsibilities on developing countries. The renewable energy sources cannot be afforded by poor countries and poor people and this is why rich countries have to be more active.

(IANS)

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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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