Force of Nature, by Miguel A. Torres

Experts agree that capturing and storing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is an essential part of achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. We have released so many greenhouse gases (GHGs) that we have had to capture them permanently again.

But if what we want is to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to reduce the parts per million (ppm) concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, it doesn’t make sense for industries to continue burning fossil fuels, even if they intend to capture the carbon dioxide emitted in their smokestacks. This approach would only neutralize emissions from industry stacks, but it would not reduce the concentration of carbon dioxide already present in the atmosphere. What’s more, this solution will not have a neutral but a negative impact, since we must consider the entire supply chain of fossil fuels.

Wineries can contribute to CO2 capture thanks to regenerative viticulture

The extraction and transportation of the fossil fuels that industry burns, along with leaks at each of these stages, emit large amounts of greenhouse gases. These emissions cannot be captured by systems installed on industry stacks because they occur upstream. For example, did you know that 40% of the world’s oil is used to transport oil? Antonio Turel, a researcher at CSIC, pointed this out at a recent environmental conference hosted by the University of Barcelona.

Oil has allowed some countries to grow at dizzying speeds. Many of them have become very rich, but without thinking about the consequences, and now we are paying for it. And he will pay more than our children pay. However, nature-based solutions are more effective and can contribute to reducing the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and we must promote them to a greater extent: avoiding deforestation, regeneration of forests (also algae and aquatic plants), regenerative agriculture, tree planting, etc.

Torres Vineyards Bodegas in Trimpe. High-altitude vineyards help combat climate change

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Fortunately, wineries can contribute additionally to capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, how? In the vineyard, applying regenerative viticulture techniques. And in the cellar, the carbon dioxide that is naturally released during the fermentation of the must is captured. In fermentation tanks, very pure and highly concentrated carbon dioxide is released, and is relatively easy to capture. Unlike carbon dioxide of fossil origin, this carbon dioxide is biological, short-cycle and its release into the atmosphere does not increase the concentration of carbon dioxide because it is the same carbon dioxide captured by the vine through photosynthesis.

At Familia Torres, we actually capture and use carbon dioxide to prevent oxidation of wine. By this we avoid getting carbon dioxide from fossil fuels into the market. But what’s more, we also hope to convert it into something stable like bicarbonate or carbonate. The latter is the main component of the glass industry. We hope to reduce the carbon footprint of bottles thanks to the carbon dioxide produced by the fermentation of wine, thus closing the circle with our suppliers.

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