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[Climate change] a risk diffused by trade





Adams, K.M., Benzie, M., Croft, S. & Sadowski, S. (2021). Climate Change, Trade, and Global Food Security: A Global Assessment of Transboundary Climate Risks in Agricultural Commodity Flows. SEI Report. Stockholm Environment Institute, Stockholm. https://doi.org/10.51414/sei2021.009


The Stockholm Environment Institute, where I used to work full-time and still work as an associate, has released an interesting report. It's a report about the risks of climate change, not just the risks of lower crop yields due to climate change, but the risks that affect other countries through trade. Not only will climate change reduce the yield of domestic crops, but it will also indirectly increase the risk of food insecurity by reducing the amount of trade we receive from other countries. Japan imports about 17 million tonnes of corn from the USA, a unique volume among other developed countries. It is estimated that corn production will fall by about 27% due to climate change. Even if one country doesn't produce corn, climate change is indirectly affected because they rely on imports.




According to this report, the risk of climate change spread by trade comes from a small number of countries. Brazil, China and the USA are the leading exporters of corn, while Thailand and the USA are the top rice exporters. Corn production, for example, could fall by as much as 45.5% due to climate change. This risk is then spread to Jamaica, Costa Rica, Japan and other countries that depend on US corn production for trade.




Incidentally, the crops most likely to be affected by climate change are sugar cane and Arabica coffee, which I have studied before. There are many other exciting graphs to read.

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