Each year, trick-or-treaters fill their bags with chocolate. But climate change could put this Halloween treat in jeopardy.
Rabinovitch: “As temperatures rise and rainfall patterns change, some of the current cocoa-producing regions may become less suitable for producing cocoa.”
That’s Kevin Rabinovitch for Mars, Incorporated. He says cocoa only grows well in the tropics, near the equator.
More than two thirds of the world’s supply is grown in West Africa, where drought is already a problem.
To help address climate change, Mars plans to slash carbon pollution from its products by 67 percent by mid-century. That includes reducing emissions from land use changes and agriculture. The company is also helping cocoa farmers increase yields.
Rabinovitch: “Increasing yields reduces the demand for land, which is one of the big pressures behind deforestation, and deforestation is of course a significant driver of climate change.”
Higher yields also make farmers and chocolate makers more resilient to climate impacts.”#Chocolate Click To Tweet
And one day, so might new cocoa varieties. Mars and others are encouraging research to develop drought resistant plants. After all …
Rabinovitch: “There’s no chocolate without cocoa, and none of us want to contemplate a world without chocolate.”
Reporting credit: Rosie Simon/ChavoBart Digital Media.