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How does climate change affect farmers’ businesses?

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How does climate change affect farmers’ businesses?. Direct impacts of climate change Indirect impacts via policy and market responses Conclusions : what’s new for farm businesses to adjust to climate change. Direct impacts. Climate change is already compromising agriculture.

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how does climate change affect farmers businesses
How does climate change affect farmers’ businesses?
  • Direct impacts of climate change
  • Indirect impacts via policy and market responses
  • Conclusions:what’s new for farmbusinesses to adjust to climate change
e g africa shorter growing seasons anticipated
e.g. Africa: shorter growing seasons anticipated

Length of growing period (%)

More frequent, more intense extreme weather events: droughts, floods, cyclones

>20% loss

5-20% loss

No change

5-20% gain

>20% gain

To 2090, taking 14 climate models

Four degree rise

Thornton et al. 2010

the noughties a decade of record breaking extreme weather events
The noughties: a decade of record-breaking extreme weather events

Coumou & Rahmstorf 2012

Nature Climate Change

not bad news everywhere but complex
Not bad news everywhere… but complex!
  • Key unknowns for farming:
  • pests and diseases
  • district- & farm-level climate changes
  • potential for adaptation to overcome impacts
agriculture s recent journey
Agriculture’s recent journey

First time agriculture officially on the agenda

Ag negotiating text ‘ready’ but goes nowhere

more progress at national level
More progress at national level?

Adaptation: technologies, institutions, finance, incentives for farmers

Mitigation: technologies, institutions, finance, targets, markets

Mexico 2012: 50% by 2050

UK 2008: 80% by 2050


Food systems contributes 19-29% GHGs

Vermeulen et al. 2012

Annual Review of Environment and Resources (in press)

but are carbon markets a good deal for farmers
But are carbon markets a good deal for farmers?


US$4.8 billion global market (assuming $18/tonne)

US$1.5 billion in Sub-Saharan Africa

(almost twice the overseas development assistance for agriculture in the region)


-Weak market: $1.03/t

-Social justice issues:

distract from agricultural

development & adaptation needs

Analysis of Wollenberg 2011

what is new for farmers businesses
What is new for farmers’ businesses?
  • Near-term: greater emphasis than ever on risk management (weather & climate forecasts; insurance)
  • Horizon-scanning: early action in anticipation of major trends in your region (new varieties, crops & production systems)
  • Opportunity & influence: keep abreast & participate in policy processes, in finance opportunities, in climate-smart agriculture

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