Do markets and trade help or hurt the global food system adapt to climate change?
This article in the Food Policy Journal discusses the effects of markets and trade on the global food system in a changing climate. The authors argue that food security in a changing climate can best be understood as a double exposure of people and processes to both economic and climate-related shocks and stressors. Efforts to evaluate and model these outcomes through the lens of ‘double exposure’ suggests that trade could play a critical role in ensuring future food security. If trade restrictions proliferate, double exposure to both a rapidly changing climate and volatile markets will likely jeopardize the food security of millions. Nevertheless, global trade can also 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.