Emission Impossible? Three steps wine is taking to combat climate change

Linda Johnson Bell

28 May 2019

There wasn’t a climate-change denier in sight at the Climate Change Leadership Conference in Porto earlier this year as delegates from all over the world came together to discuss probably the biggest issue facing wine, and the planet, today.

All agreed that changes need to be made, and that wine – as a luxury product – is the perfect ‘poster child’ to show the way forward for other agricultural sectors.  

So with speakers specifically instructed to come armed with solutions, not more problems, what can we expect to see from the wine industry over the coming years?

Here are the three initiatives that look set to make it from talking shop to reality.

Torres and JFW head towards zero emissions

The Familia Torres and Jackson Family Wines have joined to create the International Wineries for Climate Action group aiming to achieve an 80% reduction of total carbon emissions by 2045.

Miguel Torres says that they ‘are just at the beginning with [their] initiative, but [they] hope it will be a trigger, a boost for other wineries’.

Speaker Kimberly Nicholas, associate professor of the Lund University Centre for Sustainable Studies, was impressed. ‘There is still a lot more to do to get to zero emissions but their project is the closest I have seen so far.’

Dry farming initiative

The Wine and Climate Change Institute in Oxford is now putting together a dry-farming initiative to encourage producers who are irrigating to transition to dry farming, where possible.

They will also be launching a consumer awareness campaign on wine and water use, and dry-farmed wines.

Climate Change Roadshow

Pancho Campo, the conference organiser and head of Chrand Marketing & Events, along with wine consultant and fellow conference organiser, David Furer, and Luis Torres, president of Wine Business Academy and go-wine.com, have initiated The Climate of Wine, a sort of roadshow.

‘We will take a one-day seminar around the world to create awareness on the issue of the climate crisis and will share some of the outcomes of the Porto conferences with the wine industry,’ says Campo.

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