‘Extreme weather’ could cause portions of chips to ‘disappear’, says climate change expert

‘Extreme weather’ could cause portions of chips to ‘disappear’, says climate change expert

More extreme and unpredictable weather driven by climate change is posing a threat to the British staple dish of chips. Image: Nick Ansell/PA Wire.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Gareth Redmond-King, Head of Climate Change at WWF, has said that “extreme weather” is posing a threat to the British classic of a portion of chips.

Future yields of fruit and vegetables grown in the UK, from the humble spud to grapes producing British wine, could be hit by extremes such as longer-lasting and more intense heatwaves, downpours and flooding.

He told talkRADIO’s Mike Graham: “None of us want to see our chips disappearing. The reason we are talking about chips is because climate change can often feel very far away and often feel like it is in the future.



“This is the effects of climate change affecting us right here, right now – to the food on our plate in front of us.”

He added: “What we need to worry about are the climate change impacts like extreme weather that are making it harder for farmers to grow our food in the first place.

“That is what has us seeing fewer potatoes, apples, carrots and in case you think this all sounds too healthy, this affects growing vines as well so it can affect our ability to produce wine.”


'There are farmers working really hard'

Mr Redmond-King suggested that eating less meat and “more vegetables” could help fight the impact of climate change.

“We need to balance our diet. We probably all do need to eat a little less meat because it is quite high impact in terms of its environmental effects but there are ways of reducing that,” he said.

“There are farmers working really hard to reduce the emissions from our livestock.

“But if we do eat more vegetables and a more plant-based diet then we help reduce the impact of our food in causing climate change, which in turn reduces the impact climate change has on our food.



He added that people can “adapt” but not all farmers would be able to afford to.

“Of course in lots of ways we will adapt but not everyone can adapt,” he said.

“Farmers can adapt to ensure they can carry on growing but it becomes expensive for them and if they lose crops year after year, then obviously they can’t afford to do it anymore and they go out of business.”