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Red, White, and 'Green': The Cost of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Global Wine Trade

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Climate change is altering a wide range of human activities, including winemaking. While wine may appear to be one of the most natural of alcoholic beverages, it is not without carbon inputs and emissions, which contribute to the very change in climate that is altering both wine and winemaking. In this paper, we use a greenhouse gas life cycle analysis to develop a model for quantifying greenhouse gas emissions from the production and distribution of a bottle of wine. Current regulatory arrangements do not capture the climate change costs of wine effectively since most costs are externalized. We conclude with estimates of the cost of emissions under various regulatory regimes, provide counterintuitive findings about the greenhouse gas emissions of similar bottles, and, finally, suggest how wine producers and consumers can reduce the greenhouse gas emissions.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: New York University, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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