The much-loved British cuppa is at risk of wipe-out as extreme weather and rising temperatures hit tea-growing countries.
Climate change is threatening to wreck stocks from countries like, India, Sri Lanka, China and Kenya, which produces half the black tea drunk in this country.
A Christian Aid report warns that Kenya, the world’s biggest exporter, faces more erratic rainfall, making floods and droughts more common, and rising temperatures.
And the change in conditions is also set to ruin the tea’s quality, leaving us with a nasty taste in the mouth.
Richard Koskei, 72, a tea farmer from Kericho in Kenya’s Western Highlands, said: “We are proud that the tea that we grow here is the best in the world but climate change poses a real threat to us.
“We cannot predict seasons anymore, temperatures are rising, rainfall is more erratic, more often accompanied by unusual hailstones and longer droughts.
“If this continues then it will make growing tea much harder and life for us extremely difficult.
“This needs a joint effort from developed countries who enjoy our tea abroad, and richer countries need to cut their emissions.”
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The UK and Ireland drink more brews per person than any other countries in the world and is loved by everyone from the Queen to Ant and Dec.
Research suggests climate change is going to destroy perfect conditions needed for tea production in Kenya by 26% by 2050.
And areas with only average growing conditions will see production fall by 39% by mid-century.
Dr Kat Kramer, Christian Aid’s climate policy lead, said: “This year the UK Government has a key role in overseeing the global response to the climate emergency.
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“As host of both the G7 in June and the Cop26 climate summit in November, the UK can ensure that countries on the front line of this crisis can adapt and respond to the impacts of climate change.”
A changing climate could also hit the taste of tea, as increasing amounts of rain produce inferior quality leaves, the report warned.
Fiachra Moloney, of PG Tips maker Unilever, said: “The climate crisis affects people all over the world.
“In East Africa, where so much of our tea comes from, climate change is putting the livelihoods of the people at risk.”
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