Energy & Environment

Climate change threatening coffee, EPA chief warns

The morning coffee that so many depend on to get through the day is at risk due to climate change, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency warned Wednesday.

The coffee plant is just one of the numerous staples that a change in climate could threaten if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, Gina McCarthy said.

{mosads}“Now, coffee’s a temperature-sensitive crop,” McCarthy said Wednesday at a speech hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations.

“Climate change puts the world’s coffee-growing regions at risk.”

Global warming could have wide-ranging effects on various forms of agriculture, which McCarthy warned, would ripple through the world’s major economies through higher prices.

“Blue chip, global companies like Nike and Coke see climate impacts disrupt supplies of water, cotton and sugar,” she said.

“And what happens with scarcer inputs are available? That means that increased costs are passed onto consumers.”

McCarthy’s dire warnings came as part of her argument that the United States ought to lead international efforts to fight climate change. The effects of global warming will be felt globally and harm the United States’ interest, she said.

Starbucks Coffee is among more than 200 companies that have endorsed the EPA’s proposed rule to slash carbon emissions from power plants. The companies argue that climate change threatens their operations.

Tags Climate change Coffee Environmental Protection Agency Gina McCarthy

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