Carbon footprint

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Ministry of Sugar is interested in acquiring annual reports of cane producer associations attached with Fairtrade. Picture: SUPPLIED

The Sugar Industry’s product carbon footprint revealed in a study by Fairtrade International found that emissions were associated with sugarcane cultivation and transport to the mill.

While speaking at a two day Fairtrade workshop for sugar cane farmers in Lautoka this week, permanent secretary for Sugar Yogesh Karan said this was a concern for the ministry.

“I was informed that the Fairtrade International and Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand had conducted a study with the help of Soil and More Impacts (SMI) to assess the product carbon footprint (PCF) and water footprint (WFP) of sugarcane production in Fiji and I have read through the report,” he said.

“The findings are quite interesting but also a concern to all of us, whereby, it was discovered that PCF of cane sugar from cradle to destination seaport emitted 0.834 kg of carbon dioxide per kg of sugar.

“And 61 per cent of this emission is made up of emissions associated with sugarcane cultivation and transport to mill, itself.”

He said Fiji has been a country that was serious about combating climate change.

“We made commitment to limit global temperature to 1.5 °C to significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.

“Being a champion, Fiji is amongst first few countries to have developed its National Climate Change Policy (2018 – 2030), National Adaptation Plan, Low Emissions Development Strategy (2018-2030) and the Climate Change Act 2021.

“Now that we have a law and we are all legally obligated to abide by it and take active role to fight climate change.”

He said the industry was required to implement adaptation measures and mitigation strategies to reduce carbon emissions that was depleting the natural environment and causing loss of biodiversity.

“Sugar cane farming, being part of the agriculture sector and one of the highest emitters of green-house gas is required to take responsibility to build resilience of sugar industry against climate change.”

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