The British cup of tea is at risk, a new report has warned, as climate change prompts extreme weather and rising temperatures in tea-growing regions.
The UK and Ireland drink more tea per person than any other country in the world.
Meanwhile, the world’s biggest tea exporter, Kenya, which produces half of the black tea drunk in the UK, is facing rising temperatures and volatile rainfall, which has made floods and droughts more likely.
Optimal conditions for tea growing will plunge as climate change worsens, and in Kenya, the report found that conditions will deteriorate by 26 per cent by 2050.
Areas with only average growing conditions will see production fall by 39 per cent by mid-century.
Other major tea-producing countries including India, Sri Lanka and China, are also face rising temperatures and new weather extremes.
The report found that climate change will not only hit the supply of tea, but also the taste.
Increasing rainfall will likely produce inferior quality leaves and will have diluted beneficial compounds, the report warned.
The warning comes as the UK prepares for its seat at the helm of the United Nation’s flagship climate conference COP26, to be held in Glasgow in November.
“This year the UK Government has a key role in overseeing the global response to the climate emergency,” Christian Aid’s climate policy lead, Dr Kat Kramer, said.
“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.
“With countries starting to announce improved climate plans, there is a unique opportunity to accelerate cuts in emissions and boost the finance needed to help countries adapt to the changing climate.”