Preventing climate change means changing our current courses of action. Elisa Markula, Managing Director of Paulig’s Coffee Division, discusses the issue in light of the Bonn Climate Change Conference starting this week.
The pressure is on in the Bonn Climate Change Conference that is starting this week. We have a long way to go before we reach the emission restrictions pledged in the climate agreement, as only 30% of the objectives issued by the countries have been covered. In school, we would have to repeat a year with such low grades. At this rate, 80 years from now we will be living in a world that is three degrees warmer. This may seem like a small, slow change, but when the changes in the ecosystem accumulate, the complex global ecosystem may suddenly become critical. Examples of small-scale tipping points include recurring forest fires, drought, pests or one of my personal experiences where a coffee farming region in Guatemala became so hot that the crop was lost.
Climate change is the result of human activity. That is why we must take action and change our ways. Change is always hard. Especially since we often think that climate change is someone else's problem and refuse to take responsibility. Do we think that climate change only applies to developing countries? Even Finland can grow warmer and colder. A warmer climate will bring invasive species, cause eutrophication in water systems and increase the amount of rain. If the Gulf Stream is affected, the climate in Finland may also become colder.
Climate change also includes a great number of unknown factors. What is certain, however, is that nearly 80% of carbon dioxide emissions comes from the use of fossil fuels. Oil, natural gas and coal are the major polluters. In the conference taking place in Bonn, the countries will have all the opportunities to increase their commitments regarding emissions and restrain the rise of the average global temperature. Fortunately, the large polluters, China and India, are replacing their energy sources with renewable alternatives. Despite the policies of their president, several US cities are committed to prevent climate change.
More courage and ambition in terms of objectives are needed in Bonn in order to ensure a healthy earth for future generations. A delightful example of ambitious projects is Mika Anttonen's (main owner of energy company ST1) idea on expanding the green space of the earth and afforesting the Sahara. This is the time for heroic action. If not by us, by whom?
Did you know that:
• All Paulig coffees are roasted in Finland with biogas
• We use 100% renewable energy at the Vuosaari roastery
• We continuously develop our coffee packaging, introducing renewable materials in the packaging process
• Our partnership programmes in coffee-producing countries take into account the diversity of the environment and the nature