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Sugar prices soar to record highs due to climate change

This video is part of: Centre for Nature and Climate

Sugar enthusiasts face a grim reality as global sugar prices have skyrocketed by 55% in just two months. This surge stems from severe droughts in India and Thailand, the world's second and third-largest sugar exporters, respectively.

These dry conditions, aggravated by the El Niño weather pattern, have crippled sugar production, leading to a global shortage. Despite a bountiful harvest in Brazil, the world's top sugar exporter, the global shortage will persist until 2024, leaving importing countries to grapple with rising sugar prices.

Sugar prices and climate change challenge rice production

The ominous specter of climate change extends beyond sugar production to encompass other global staples like rice. Rice cultivation demands substantial water resources, typically between 3,000 to 5,000 liters per kilogram produced. This renders the crop acutely susceptible to droughts, which are becoming increasingly frequent and severe due to climate change.

Experts warn that climate change could slash rice yields by 15% by 2050, disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable populations. An estimated 80% of those most at risk from climate-induced crop failures and hunger reside in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.

Transitioning to climate-smart agriculture

Adopting climate-smart agriculture practices offers a solution to address both the sugar shortage and the looming rice crisis. Climate-smart agriculture aims to enhance agricultural productivity, increase resilience to climate change, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The global food system accounts for approximately one-third of CO2 emissions. Transitioning to climate-smart agriculture can not only ensure food security but also contribute to mitigating climate change.

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