Chocolate could disappear by 2050 due to climate change
Cocoa plants as we know them are expected to become extinct by as early as 2050 as global warming pushes temperatures higher and levels of humidity fall, the World Economic Forum said on Thursday.
However, chocolate lovers will be relieved to hear that California scientists and the makers of the Mars bar are experimenting with the cocoa plant’s genes and CRISP technology to try and create varieties of the crop that can withstand the new climate conditions.
At the moment, the plants can only grow roughly 20 degrees to the north and south of the earth's equator.
In September, the Mars Company, also known for its Snickers chocolate bars, pledged $1bn as part of an effort called Sustainability in a Generation, which aims to reduce the carbon footprint of its business and supply chain by more than 60% by the middle of the century.
"There are obviously commitments the world is leaning into but, frankly, we don't think we're getting there fast enough collectively," said Barry Parkin, Mars’ sustainability officer told Business Insider.
To those threats from climate change one can add that global demand for chocolate reached 7,450 tons in 2017 with that figure having risen by 10% over the last five years.
Cocoa plants were also facing plagues and fungus for which, having been transplanted from their native Amazon jungle habitat to Africa, they had no natural defenses.
The Mars company was also in the news recently after it appointed a new vice president and general counsel, Stefanie Straub.