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Climate change: We’ve had our chips

CHIP lovers may find their favourite dish takes a battering as a result of climate change, campaigners have warned.

More extreme weather threatens UK crops, from the humble potato to grapes used for British wine.

Last summer’s heatwave saw a 20 per cent drop in potato yields, according to the Climate Coalition of environmental and social groups. The hot weather, which the Met Office said was made 30 times more likely by climate change, affected carrots and onions too.

Farmers also reported more stunted, misshapen spuds — leaving the average chip at least an inch smaller. And it’s not just hot weather causing problems. More than half of farmers have been hit by floods or storms in the past decade.

By the 2050s, the area of land suited for potatoes could decline by three-quarters, said the report by the coalition of 130 groups such as WWF, the Women’s Institute and the National Trust.

WWF’s Gareth Redmond-King said: ‘It should be unthinkable that the humble spud, a much-loved staple of the British diet, could become a delicacy. But the unthinkable becomes reality if climate change isn’t tackled.’

Environment secretary Michael Gove said a new scheme would reward farmers who cut emissions and tackle climate change effects.