Identifying and exploring key commodity chains at risk from climate impacts (F2)

Globally, agricultural production is expected to increase in response to population and economic growth, and changes in consumption patterns . However, this growth will have to take place against a backdrop of changing conditions driven by climate change, which presents both potential risks (in terms of supply disruptions or increased competition for limited resources) and opportunities (in terms of landscapes where production could be enhanced by more favourable climatic conditions) . For the UK – which relies a great deal on the production of commodities overseas to satisfy the consumption habits of its citizens  – it is important to understand how the supply chains of these commodities may be affected by climate change; the future supply of commodities from the countries on which the UK currently relies is not uniformly guaranteed. In particular, there are a number of crop commodity ‘staples’ which are especially important in the global market, particularly in the provision of food for both human and animal consumption. These include, for example, maize, rice, soy and wheat – all of which are relied upon to varying extents by the UK.

This report aims to combine recent work, which has developed a consumption-based trade model for the UK, with climatic information on crop yields to develop insights into how current UK supply chains for key commodities may be impacted by future climate change scenarios.