Kofi Annan used to preside over the mass of bickering poker buddies known as the U.N. Back then, he worried about an AIDS epidemic and that retro scourge “weapons of mass destruction.” Nowadays, Annan is a travelling sage, collecting causes the way Hiltons collect boyfriends: namely, those related to economic, social, and environmental sustainability. Climate change specifically will be on the menu when the former Secretary-General speaks on April 13th, the first day of the Third World Congress on Climate Change and Wine in Marbella, Spain. If you seek evidence of Annan's take on the issue, skim the video embedded above.
Annan is no stranger to the glut of environmental issues facing vintners. Last November, at a climate change conference in Switzerland, he explained the impact of climate change on sectors where high irrigation is necessary, particularly agriculture.
“The gradual increase in temperature is producing an increase in seawater. This causes more floods and less frost,” said Annan. The latter, of course, is essential for the healthy growth and development of some grape varieties.
The Third World Congress on Climate Change and Wine is, incidentally, sponsored by The Wine Academy of Spain, a seven-year-old organization dedicated to educating wine professionals and amateurs. The Academy relentlessly pushes Spanish wines, but also analyzes the ways environmental factors like climate change affect the wine industry. The conference will last April 13th-14th. In case anyone thinks Annan's performance will be worth a trans-continental flight, tickets are 50 euros. Dinner plus the whole conference package will run you 250 euros.