Climate change poses a huge risk to both the global trade of agricultural commodities and food security. These risks are critical and mounting, but until now have remained largely unrecognized by the global community.

A new SEI assessment compares significant trading relationships, exporters, importers and markets, and provides a basis for policymaking and setting priorities in risk management.

The report reveals for the first time in detail which countries are exposed to transboundary climate risks (TCRs) in the major agricultural commodities: maize, rice, wheat, soy, sugar cane, and coffee.

SEI Research Fellow Simon Croft explains:

“Our modelling provided the foundations upon which the assessments of transboundary climate risks in this report are conducted. Given the complexity of global supply chains, especially for commodities such as palm oil, unpicking these trade linkages is essential for quantifying and mapping TCRs in detail.”

Overall, the report urges leaders at the UN Food Systems Summit and the upcoming COP26 climate change negotiations to acknowledge the important links between climate change, food security and trade, and to take action to build systemic resilience to climate impacts through multilateral cooperation.