Earlier this week India released its climate assessment for 2030. With input from 220 Indian scientists and 120 research institutions, the 4X4 Assessment of the Impact of Climate Change report predicts changing rainfall patterns, more severe floods and droughts, and an increase in temperature of 3.8 degrees Fahrenheit by 2030 compared to 1970’s levels. In terms of health, incidences of malaria are forecasted to increase in the Himalayan region. India’s Environment Minister, Jairam Ramesh, stated “there is no country in the world that is as vulnerable, on so many dimensions, to climate change as India is.” In a nation of over 1.1 billion people, where over half the population lives below the poverty line, the rest of the world should take the minister’s remark seriously and work with and support India in its efforts to cope with climate change. They will have that opportunity as world leaders, climate experts and activists gather in Cancun at the end of the month for the next round of climate talks.
On a related note, I came across an article that mentioned the impact of climate change on coffee and coffee growers in India. As a coffee lover, this adds to my growing list of climate change concerns. Higher temperatures, increased rainfall, droughts and changing weather patterns are already starting to affect Indian coffee growers. According to Marvin Rodrigues, Vice-President of the Karnataka Planters’ Association, weather patterns in coffee growing regions in India has changed in the last three to four years. Furthermore, “Excess rains and changing weather patterns have led to warm summers, and wet or nil sunshine winters leading to crop ripening early and coffee processing getting affected due to lack of sunshine.” Coffee in India is mainly produced in the southern states of Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.
Perhaps this would be a good campaign for Starbucks to take up? Linking the carbon footprint of getting that morning cappuccino with education on the global impacts of climate change on the people who grow those vital beans.