Climate change threatening Valentine’s Day rose?

16 Feb, 2024 - 00:02 0 Views
Climate change threatening Valentine’s Day rose?

eBusiness Weekly

The traditional Valentine’s Day rose may be intended to warm the heart of its recipient, but hotter global temperatures are making it harder to grow them, a charity is warning.

The rose, which has come to symbolise love, prefers temperatures of about 15-24C, at least six hours of sunlight a day and plenty of water.

Climate change is contributing to drought and disrupting growing seasons and rain patterns, threatening the rose industry in Britain and around the world, according to Christian Aid.

Five countries that grow 59 percent of exported roses — Kenya, Colombia, Ethiopia, Uganda, Ecuador and Colombia — are facing climbing temperatures, drought and melting glaciers causing water scarcity — with the potential to impact the commercial rose industry, its report said.

And in the UK, gardeners are likely to see earlier blooming roses but also an increase of fungal diseases such as black spot on their favourite blooms, according to the report, The Climate Threat to Valentine’s Day Roses.

Commenting on the report, Charles Shi from Kew Gardens, said: “Climate change has significant impacts on rose cultivation around the world.

“The effects of rising temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, and increased pest and disease pressure can lead to heat stress, reduced flower quality, disrupted flowering seasons, and damage to rose plants.”

Tracking different rose and pollinator species, along with global action to tackle climate change, can help protect growing regions and jobs and improve sustainable growing, he added.

Christian Aid’s report cites other research that suggested droughts in East Africa between 2020 and 2022 were made more than 100 times more likely and more severe because of climate change.

Patrick Mbugua said climate change is putting more pressure on roses in Kenya.

Patrick Mbugua from Wildfire Flowers in Kenya said he is “concerned” about the climate impact on his industry.

“We’ve seen increased disease pressure due to unusual weather patterns, sometimes we have excessive hot weather which sees a jump in the number of pests, and other times unusually low temperatures which increases fungal infections, reducing yields.”

In the UK, rose plants now start to flower around a month earlier than they did only in the mid-1980s, due to higher temperatures at the start of the year.

Some popular varieties, such as David Austin’s Shropshire Lad, are being withdrawn from sale because they can’t withstand pests like aphids and diseases that are evolving with changing climate conditions.

Roses themselves have a climate impact, with flowers in the Netherlands grown in greenhouses heated by gas.

While roses grown in warmer climes don’t need heating, they still trigger greenhouse gas emissions from air transport and refrigeration, it said.

Online flower retailer Bloom & Wild said it stopped selling red roses for Valentine’s Day because they are in fact unpopular and create a lot of waste.

Aron Gelbard, CEO and co-founder Aron Gelbard told Sky News: “Valentine’s Day creates a huge and unnecessary spike in demand (for red roses) which rapidly unwinds the following day, risking high levels of waste, which we always strive to avoid.”

Its customer research also suggested that “red roses were in fact the least popular Valentine’s gift to receive”, he added.

Christian Aid wants an end to new oil and gas projects and in climate finance to help poorer countries adapt to climate change.

Osai Ojigho, director of policy and public campaigns at Christian Aid, said: “These blooms bring joy, and are a vital income for growers in the global south, yet these livelihoods are endangered by the rising carbon emissions and the seemingly endless pursuit of fossil fuels from rich nations like the UK.

“We need to see far more urgent action from governments to invest in renewables and also commit the needed climate finance to help farmers adapt to a climate crisis they did almost nothing to cause.” — SkyNews

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