Al Gore to address wine and climate change conference

Al Gore to address wine and climate change conference

Ex-US vice president Al Gore is to address a high-level wine and climate change conference in Porto this year, designed to help wineries and academics share knowledge.

Leading academics and wine industry figures will attend a ‘climate change leadership’ conference in Porto from 5 to 7 March 2019, in a follow up to the July 2018 ‘Porto Protocol’ – a non-profit initiative uniting the international wine sector to counter the effects of climate change.

Barack Obama spoke at the 2018 conference and this year’s symposium will see former US vice-president and Nobel Laureate Al Gore address guests.

‘We cannot sit around in isolated bubbles.’

‘We are shifting from discussing climate change to sharing solutions,’ said conference co-organiser Adrian Bridge, CEO of the Fladgate Partnership, which includes several Port brands like Taylor-Fladgate, Fonseca and Croft.

‘Unlike other industries, wine has a sense of place and a long-term horizon, given the age of vines,’ he said at a press conference for assembled industry representatives and media at the Portuguese embassy in Washington DC.

Vintners must share knowledge, said Bridge, citing the example of how South African vintners reacted to last year’s drought – and how that could prepare others should such a drought occur elsewhere.

‘We cannot sit around in isolated bubbles.’

Recognising that current US president Donald Trump has called climate change a ‘hoax’, Bridge said that ‘we cannot wait for leadership from governments’ and that ‘we ourselves need to do something’.

This year’s Porto conference schedule includes sessions on ‘Wineries of the Future’ and ‘Packaging and Transportation’ aimed at reducing carbon footprints.

Researchers and winery representatives to speak at the conference include:

  • Miguel Torres;
  • Krug CEO Margareth Henriquez;
  • Roger Boulton of UC-Davis;
  • Climatologist Greg Jones, of Linfield College in Oregon
  • Grape variety researcher José Vouillamoz;
  • South African water specialist Heinrich Schloms;
  • Wine economist Mike Veseth.

‘We are in the world capital of Washington DC to raise awareness,’ said former tennis player and environmental activist Pancho Campo, who is co-organising the conference.

Organisers said that 750 participants from more than 40 countries have so far signed up to the event, which will take place at the Alfândega do Porto Conference Centre.

See also:

Obama urges wine industry to collaborate in climate change fight

Climate change is biggest threat to World Heritage sites – former-UNESCO chief

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