Site icon SEN Sustainability & Environment Network

In Europe too, climate change will increase the price of food

climate change

credits Icons8 Team su Unsplash

On average, the price of food will rise to 3.2% annually in 2035 for global warming

( – By 2035, global warming could increase the cost of food by 3.2% per year worldwide. It mainly affects the countries of the global South, but without sparing the most advanced economies. The impact of climate change on food prices will be distributed around the globe, driven mainly by rising temperatures. This was calculated by a study published in Communications Earth & Environment.

Higher temperatures increase food inflation persistently in both the highest and low income countries,” the study points out. “The effects vary depending on the seasons and regions depending on the climatic rules, with additional impacts resulting from the variability of daily temperature and extreme rainfall“. Overall, globally, the impact of climate change on food prices by 2035 could increase inflation each year by 0.9-3.2%, and increase overall inflation by 0.3-1.1% annually.

Climate change and food prices: and in Europe?

Higher temperatures affect the seasonality of agricultural production, leading to declines in yields, increasing the likelihood of pest epidemics and diseases affecting both livestock and food reserves. According to the study, rising temperatures generate “non-linear and persistent” increases in food and general inflation.

For countries closer to the equator, the impacts of climate change on food prices will be felt throughout the year, while for the countries at medium and high latitudes – Europe included – it is mainly the summer season during which these effects will be felt, able to compensate and exceed the expected productivity gain thanks to milder winters.

The response to the average temperature is strongly non-linear so that increases in the warmer months and regions cause greater inflationary impacts. As a result, increases in average temperatures at high latitudes cause upward inflationary pressures when they occur in the warmer months of the year, opposing downward pressures when they occur in the colder months. In contrast, increases in average temperatures at lower latitudes cause upward inflationary pressures throughout the year,” the study explains.

It will then be necessary to expect “amplified” impacts due to extreme heat events. The authors calculate that the heat wave of summer 2022 in Europe – where severe air temperatures were associated with a severe drought – increased the price of food in the old continent by 0.67% and the general inflation by 0.34%, in just 3 months. But summers like that will tend to become less and less exceptional, much faster than crops can adapt to the new climate. The authors estimate that in Europe this will result in a further 30-50% increase in food inflation already within 10 years, which could then double the levels of 2022 by 2060.

Exit mobile version