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Do markets and trade help or hurt the global food system adapt to climate change?

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Listed:
  • Brown, Molly E.
  • Carr, Edward R.
  • Grace, Kathryn L.
  • Wiebe, Keith
  • Funk, Christopher C.
  • Attavanich, Witsanu
  • Backlund, Peter
  • Buja, Lawrence

Abstract

Rapidly expanding global trade in the past three decades has lifted millions out of people out of poverty. Trade has also reduced manufacturing wages in high income countries and made entire industries uncompetitive in some communities, giving rise to nationalist politics that seek to stop or reverse further trade expansion in the United States and Europe. Given complex and uncertain political support for trade, how might changes in trade policy affect the global food system’s ability to adapt to climate change? Here we argue that we can best understand food security in a changing climate as a double exposure: the exposure of people and processes to both economic and climate-related shocks and stressors. Trade can help us adapt to climate change, or not. If trade restrictions proliferate, double exposure to both a rapidly changing climate and volatile markets will likely jeopardize the food security of millions. A changing climate will present both opportunities and challenges for the global food system, and adapting to its many impacts will affect food availability, food access, food utilization and food security stability for the poorest people across the world. Global trade can continue to play a central role in assuring that global food system adapts to a changing climate. This potential will only be realized, however, if trade is managed in ways that maximize the benefits of broadened access to new markets while minimizing the risks of increased exposure to international competition and market volatility. For regions like Africa, for example, enhanced transportation networks combined with greater national reserves of cash and enhanced social safety nets could reduce the impact of ‘double exposure’ on food security.

Suggested Citation

  • Brown, Molly E. & Carr, Edward R. & Grace, Kathryn L. & Wiebe, Keith & Funk, Christopher C. & Attavanich, Witsanu & Backlund, Peter & Buja, Lawrence, 2017. "Do markets and trade help or hurt the global food system adapt to climate change?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 154-159.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:68:y:2017:i:c:p:154-159
    DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2017.02.004
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    Cited by:

    1. Jianhong E. Mu & John M. Antle & John T. Abatzoglou, 2019. "Representative agricultural pathways, climate change, and agricultural land uses: an application to the Pacific Northwest of the USA," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 24(5), pages 819-837, June.
    2. Wei Xie & Qi Cui & Tariq Ali, 2019. "Role of market agents in mitigating the climate change effects on food economy," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 99(3), pages 1215-1231, December.
    3. Chen, Bowen & Villoria, Nelson B., 2018. "Food Price Variability and Import Dependence: A Country Panel Analysis," 2018 Annual Meeting, August 5-7, Washington, D.C. 274285, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    4. Attavanich, Witsanu, 2018. "How Is Climate Change Affecting Thailand’s Agriculture? A Literature Review with Policy Update," MPRA Paper 90255, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 12 Nov 2018.
    5. Pipitpukdee, Siwabhorn & Attavanich, Witsanu & Bejranonda, Somskaow, 2020. "Climate Change Impacts on Sugarcane Production in Thailand," MPRA Paper 99796, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 10 Apr 2020.
    6. Witsanu Attavanich & Sommarat Chantarat & Jirath Chenphuengpawn & Phumsith Mahasuweerachai & Kannika Thampanishvong, 2019. "Farms, Farmers and Farming: A Perspective through Data and Behavioral Insights," PIER Discussion Papers 122, Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research, revised Dec 2019.
    7. Awudu Abdulai, 2018. "Simon Brand Memorial Address," Agrekon, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 57(1), pages 28-39, January.
    8. Amorn Pochanasomboon & Witsanu Attavanich & Akaranant Kidsom, 2020. "Impacts of Land Ownership on the Economic Performance and Viability of Rice Farming in Thailand," Land, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(3), pages 1-18, March.
    9. Valeria Borsellino & Emanuele Schimmenti & Hamid El Bilali, 2020. "Agri-Food Markets towards Sustainable Patterns," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(6), pages 1-35, March.

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