The Okanagan is one of Canada’s globally recognized destinations, known for its vineyards, food, and natural splendor.
But it’s now also an epicenter of the deepening climate crisis threatening the world’s wine regions.
Record heat, wildfires, and prolonged drought are combining to threaten British Columbia’s $3.75-billion wine industry and local communities. Choking smoke from those fires is now making grapes unusable and costing the local tourism economy hundreds of millions of dollars. Those temperature swings are also bringing in frost, the killer of grapes.
And the Okanagan isn’t alone.
From California to Australia to the Mediterranean, the world’s $ 400-billion wine industry and the communities that support it are facing the same threats from wildfires, water shortages, and unprecedented heat domes of 50°C degrees or more. The spillover into other aspects of the global agrifoods and tourism economy are many times larger.
CityAge is zeroing in on this global issue, with an initial focus on Canada’s Okanagan Valley and the U.S. West Coast. We’ll be looking at what technologies, ideas, innovations, and investments can save and sustain the vineyards and other agricultural lands, and the communities around them.
"FIRE!" will focus on the impact of the escalating climate crisis and its impact on wildfires, particularly in the viticulture regions like the Okanagan. This series will span several months, featuring roundtables, a major event, surveys, reports, and substantial media coverage. The series aims to explore innovative solutions to mitigate the challenges posed by wildfires, water shortages, and climate change