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FARMING

Italy’s wine production falls by nine percent after year of extreme weather

Italian wine production dropped by nine percent in 2021, new figures show, as winemakers across the country continue to suffer the effects of extreme weather.

Italy’s wine production dropped by nine percent in 2021
Italy’s wine production dropped by nine percent in 2021. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

According to the latest preliminary figures published by the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) and shared by the agricultural association Coldiretti, global wine production is also set to drop to 250.3 million hectoliters in 2021, seven percent below the average for the past 20 years.

This is the third consecutive year that the world’s total wine production will fall below average levels, highlights Coldiretti, with the 2021 harvest just above an all-time low of 2017.

The OIV shared its data at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, where world leaders are currently meeting to discuss strategies to combat the effects of the climate crisis.

READ ALSO: Hundreds of youth activists protest climate inaction ahead of Milan summit

Harvesters lift a box full of Nebbiolo grapes, which are used to make Barolo wine, in Barolo, northwestern Italy on October 18, 2018.

Harvesters lift a box full of Nebbiolo grapes, which are used to make Barolo wine, in Barolo, northwestern Italy on October 18, 2018. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

The drop in production levels is down to “late spring frosts and overall unfavourable weather conditions” linked to climate change, Coldiretti said in a press release on Thursday.

Extreme heatwaves, forest fires, hurricanes, floods and storms have battered Italy throughout 2021, damaging crops and creating havoc for farmers.

In October the country was hit by 20 severe weather events in one day, including tornadoes, hailstorms, windstorms, and torrential rainfall that caused damage to cities and countryside across the peninsula.

READ ALSO: Italy hit by 20 ‘severe weather events’ in a day as Liguria sees record rainfall

A man drives a vehicle through a field of Nebbiolo grapes during the harvest in the Langhe countryside in Barolo, northwestern Italy on October 18, 2018.

A man drives a vehicle through a field of Nebbiolo grapes during the harvest in the Langhe countryside in Barolo, northwestern Italy on October 18, 2018. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

The storms “devastated fields, pastures, stables and agricultural vehicles as well as blocking roads and causing landslides and landslides in the countryside,” Coldiretti said.

The group estimated that Italy’s agricultural industry has lost €2 billion so far this year as a result of extreme weather events.

Despite the hit to its wine production levels, Italy remains the largest producer of wines globally, followed by Spain and then France.

READ ALSO: Italian wine production drops sharply after year of extreme weather

France’s wine producers have reportedly suffered particularly bad losses in 2021, seeing a 27 percent reduction in its harvest compared to 2020 following a year of severe frosts, summer rains, hailstorms and diseases.

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ENVIRONMENT

Sweden to set world’s first consumption-based emissions target

Sweden political parties have unanimously backed the world's first consumption-based emissions target, with the country aiming to hit net zero by 2045.

Sweden to set world's first consumption-based emissions target

The committee responsible for setting Sweden’s environmental goals on Thursday presented its proposals for what goals Sweden should set for greenhouse has emissions linked to the country’s consumption. 

“No other country in the world has done what we have done,” Emma Nohrén, chair of the climate goals committee, said at a press conference announcing the goals. “There has been a pioneering sprit.” 

About 60 percent of the emissions caused by people living in Sweden are released in other countries producing goods to be consumed in Sweden, meaning Sweden’s production-based emissions goals, like those of other countries, arguably misrepresent Sweden’s impact.  

In a press statement, the government said that as well as the 2045 consumption emissions target, the committee has suggested setting targets for the climate impact of its exports, include emissions from flights and cargo ships in its long-term national climate goals, and aim to include emissions from internal flights in its target for domestic transport by 2030.  

The committee also proposes that emissions from goods and services ordered by the public sector should decline at a faster rate than those of the rest of the country. 

Amanda Palmstierna, an MP for the Green Party who sits on the committee, said it was positive that the new goals had the backing of all seven of Sweden’s parliamentary parties. 

“It’s important that all the parties are backing this proposal so that it can become implemented,” she said. “Significant action is required now. We have so little time, as we saw in the IPCC report which came out on Monday.”  

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