Impact of climate change on business apparently does not include loss of crop diversity

I suppose I should have expected it. A new UNEP report is out, entitled GEO-5 for Business: Impacts of a Changing Environment on the Corporate Sector. GEO-5 being, of course, the fifth Global Environment Outlook, “a consultative, participatory process that builds capacity for conducting integrated environmental assessments for reporting on the state, trends and outlooks of the environment.”

These are the risks the consultative, participatory report highlights for the food and beverage industry:

  • Changes in availability, quality, price, and sources of agricultural products due to climate change and other environmental changes
  • Increased cost of fossil fuel-based energy
  • Reduced crop yields due to water scarcity
  • Conflicts among different users of limited water resources
  • Increased competition for arable land
  • Depletion of seafood stocks
  • Increased consumer and regulatory pressure to reduce environmental impacts of meat production and of chemicals and fertilizers

And these are the opportunities:

  • New markets for alternative supplies or more climate-resilient food varieties
  • Opportunities for businesses in new agricultural growing zones
  • Expanded markets for organic foods and sustainable food production
  • Reputational benefits from sustainable food product certifications

Nothing, however, about the risk of loss of crop diversity, and how this would impact the ability to supply those burgeoning, beckoning markets with the needed “climate-resilient food varieties.”

Which, as I say, should probably not have surprised me. But still.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.