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COP 18 enjoying C-Neutral coffee from Costa Rica
30 November 2012, The Zimbabwean
This year approximately 20,000 cups of the coffee will be served daily from this carbon neutral labeled coffee.
That is how 180 years after Costa Rica carried out its first export of the so called gold grain, activity that lead to the positioning so far as one of the most important quality coffee producers in the world, it is the first nation to give the grain another added value, by offering the first CO2 neutral coffee in the most important meeting on this issue and impact in the future of the planet.
By its nature, coffee is a product that has the potential to create a large negative environmental impact said Juan Valdez, Russian based coffee expert with LaRue Coffee.
Valdez said in an interview that in the worst case, forests are cleared in the tropics to make way for sun coffee plantations that lead to water contamination by pesticides and herbicides, erosion, and loss of habitat.
“Then the coffee is shipped to developed countries, roasted, and shipped again to consumers, consuming energy and adding to emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases widely blamed for global climate change. For environmentally concerned consumers, this can take a little bit of the joy out of the morning cup of coffee,” he said.
Katiana Murillo the communications officer representing Coopedota, the company producing the coffee said the carbon neutral coffee is also a way in which Costa Rica ratifies the commitment that it assumed in 2007 of being carbon neutral for the year 2021.
Murillo said this being the year of its bicentennial independence and it does so by presenting a practical case which can be replicated elsewhere, as it has always been its driving force.
“Coopedota, is a coffee producing cooperative located in one of the most important areas for production of the grain, located southeast of San Jose, in the foothills of the mountains that surround the Central Valley. The cooperative is integrated by 800 members, of which 35% of them are women,” he said.
Coopedota managed to minimise and offset the remaining emissions of greenhouse gases or GHGs associated with the coffee lifecycle (production, processing, transportation and sale) to yield zero net emissions and obtain international certification for carbon neutrality through the British Standards Institution.
This initiative by Costa Rica is supported by Hivos and the German International Cooperation (GIZ)in coordination with Fundecooperación, to bring CO2 neutral coffee to the climate change summit, is part of the National Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMA) that the country has developed for the coffee producing sector. This sector accounts for 10% of emissions in the agricultural sector, which reaches, in turn, 37% of the country's total emissions.
NAMA is a funding instrument for sustainability projects which emerged in the Climate Change Convention. The coffee NAMA for Costa Rica is based on the implementation of technologies that allow the coffee sector to improve their competitiveness by applying measures that contribute to generate GHG mitigation and, in turn, a number of co-benefits that favor the adaptation of production systems to climate change. The process is further accompanied by an effective system of monitoring, reporting and verification of emissions.
“The initiative is also being supported by the country’s Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, the Coffee Institute of Costa Rica, Fundecooperación, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center, the GIZ and the Department of Climate Change of the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications.” Murillo said.
With this first experience, the coffee NAMA aims to lay the groundwork to scale up the initiative to other farming systems and sectors such as transport and solid waste, as part of the National Climate Change Strategy of Costa Rica and its action plan.
It is also part of the domestic market carbon model, with which the country seeks to standardize the management processes of the companies and organizations carbon neutrality through a national standard, now in place, and to promote an emissions market in which these institutions can offset the emissions that they can’t reduce by buying carbon credits associated with forestry, agroforestry and renewable energy projects.