COP27: Framing water scarcity and food security as global problems

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Latin American countries will likely present water concerns as an overarching issue at COP27, linking it to global food insecurity, loss and damage caused by climate change, and the need to promote sustainable agriculture.

Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, which accounting for 23% of world maize production, are experiencing substantial losses due to weather-related issues.

So far in 2022, Mexico has been affected by severe water shortages due to low rainfall, population growth and warmer temperatures in the northern and northeastern states, leading to production losses estimated at 4 million metric tons of grain.

In Argentina, the world’s third largest producer of soybeans and corn, it is estimated that 15% of wheat production will be lost this season due to ongoing droughts.

The prospect of lower crop yields, in particular for soybeans and corn, and the subsequent higher world food prices, should give the region an impetus to increase financing demands from developed countries and boost a framework for sustainable agriculture. Latin America is likely to resist any attempt to implement land distribution controls.

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Sub-Saharan Africa is highly exposed to climate change-induced weather events and resulting food insecurity, exacerbating land-based conflicts.

Like their Latin American counterparts, most African countries seek financing from rich countries to cover loss and damage and to address food insecurity and drought. The US and EU are more likely to advocate for more funding for climate mitigation projects.

The 2021 Global Climate Risk Index places five countries in sub-Saharan Africa (Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, South Sudan, and Niger) among the top 10 countries most at risk from deadly weather events and for their economic effect on GDP and parity. purchasing power.

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The ongoing drought in Somalia is the worst in 40 years, and the UN anticipates a food emergency in most of the country by December 2022. Neighboring Ethiopia and Kenya are also affected.

Floods in West Africa in October displaced 1.4 million people, with rice-producing regions severely affected, further contributing to food shortages. Such conditions are likely to exacerbate the risk of grazing conflicts in countries such as Kenya and Nigeria, routinely resulting in deadly violence and the displacement of thousands of people, reducing agricultural and economic output.

Discussions at COP27 continue to focus on issues of resources, financing, and fairness that preceded the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The scope of progress is significantly limited by the secondary fiscal effects in developed economies of mitigating higher world energy prices.

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Publisher’s note: The bullet points in this article were chosen by the editors of Seeking Alpha.

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