Impacts on food prices

The main messages from studies investigating the likely impacts of climate change on food prices are that on average, food prices are expected to rise moderately, in line with moderate increases of temperature (until 2050), then after 2050 prices are expected to increase more substantially with further increases in temperature (Darwin et al., 1995; Fischer et al., 2002), together with an increased population.

Rosenzweig and Tubiello (2007) develop a series of metrics for analysing the magnitude and timing of climate change impacts on agriculture. Developing metrics may be useful in order to facilitate the evaluation of policy options as well as to assess the long-term risks of climate change and perhaps identify thresholds beyond which foreseeable adaptation techniques may not be sufficient to ensure successful adaptation. Their general framework for agricultural metrics for impact assessment is shown in Table 3.2. This work is still at an early stage and more research needs to be done to test the framework, however it may provide useful information for evaluating and communicating the benefits of climate change policy on agricultural systems.

Table 3.2. Proposed framework for agricultural metrics for impact assessment

Categories

Vulnerability Criteria

Measurement Class

Biophysical indicators

Exposure

Soil and climate Crop calendar

Water availability and storage Biomass/yield

Agricultural system characteristics

Sensitivity

Land resources Inputs and technology Irrigation share Production

Socio-economic data

Adaptive capacity

Rural welfare Poverty and nutrition Protection and trade Crop insurance

Climate policy

Synergies of mitigation and adaptation

Kyoto commitment capacity

Regional Support Policy (e.g. CAP)

Carbon sequestration potential

CDM projects: in place and planned

Bio-energy

Irrigation expansion projects

Land expansion plans

Change in rotations/cropping systems

Source: Rosenzweig and Tubiello (2007).

Source: Rosenzweig and Tubiello (2007).

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