IN THEORY, the world has too much carbon dioxide. In 2015 the Paris climate agreement set limits on emissions of the gas to prevent global temperatures rising by more than two degrees Celsius above those of pre-industrial times. But in practice, makers of food and drink in Europe have found that they cannot find enough of the gas. And this unlikely shortage is likely to get worse in future.
Food-grade CO2 is a vital ingredient: it puts the fizz in carbonated drinks and beer, knocks out animals before slaughter and, as one of the gases inside packaging, delays meat and salad from going off. A shortage of the stuff has therefore created havoc in foodmakers’ supply chains. Heineken, a Dutch brewer, and Coca-Cola, an American drinks giant, have been forced to close some of their European plants. JD Wetherspoon, a British pub chain, ran out of some beers. Scotland’s largest pig slaughterhouse was forced to shut. On June 29th Warburtons,…Continue reading