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Invert Insights October 20, 2023

A threat to Beer, a Net Zero Agri-food alliance and more investments in EV.

  • Climate change threatens beer quality and tradition
  • The Canadian Alliance for Net Zero Agri-food sector
  • Ontario revs up to lead North America in EV battery production

Climate Change Threatens Beer Quality and Tradition: Farmers and Breweries Feel the Heat 

Climate change is impacting the taste and quality of beer due to its effects on hop production, a key beer ingredient. A study warns that global heating is affecting both the quantity and quality of hops. By 2050, it is expected that European hop yields will decrease by 4-18%, and alpha acids in hops, responsible for beer’s taste and aroma, will drop by 20-31%. To avoid this, farmers will need to adapt to hotter and drier conditions. This may lead to more expensive beer and necessitate changes in brewing methods. The world doesn’t want climate change putting the tradition and culture of beer-brewing in jeopardy, especially in beer-loving regions like Germany and the Czech Republic.

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Climate change has emerged as a synonym for higher prices, introducing a high level of uncertainty into many industries. While upfront investments in climate mitigation measures can result in added costs, it has the potential to reduce operating costs. Sustainable agriculture, for example, may involve better resource management, lower energy consumption and decreased waste, leading to financial savings. 

The Canadian Alliance for Net Zero Agri-Food Sector

In light of the agri-food sector’s contribution of 19% to Canada’s total emissions, a national alliance called the Canadian Alliance for Net Zero Agri-food has been established. This alliance, comprising prominent companies such as RBC, Loblaws, Maple Leaf Foods, Nutrien, and McCain Foods, aims to lead the agri-food sector towards achieving net-zero emissions. Their mission involves advancing technology, policy, and infrastructure, and securing the necessary funding to position Canada as a global leader in sustainable agriculture. A key objective of this alliance includes the creation of a robust system for the measurement, reporting, and verification of carbon storage and offsets.

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The recently created alliance recognizes the importance of carbon offset, and emissions reduction as key components of their strategy to achieve net zero emissions in the agri-food sector. This multifaceted challenge necessitates a dual-pronged approach, encompassing the reduction of emissions originating within the sector itself and the compensatory measures of addressing residual emissions through carbon offset initiatives.

Ontario Revs Up to Lead North America in EV Battery Production

After two multi-billion dollar EV battery factory investments, the Federal and Ontario governments have pledged roughly $1 billion in subsidies for a plant in Loyalist Township to be built by Belgian EV battery group Umicore. It is planned that it will deliver battery materials for over 800,000 EVs a year using Canadian-mined materials. 

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Ontario eagerly anticipates becoming a pivotal player in the electric vehicle supply chain, poised to lead North America in EV battery production. This bold move is not without risk, given the industry’s uncertain future, but aligns with Canada’s commitment to transitioning towards cleaner energy sources.

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