Knowledge and research on cross-border climate vulnerabilities and impacts of a geographic area is still a new topic in scientific literature. Nowadays, climate risk and impact assessments of food-systems focus typically on the production within a geographic area only. Consequently, knowledge and research on the cross-border climate vulnerabilities of food-systems has hardly received any attention. To address remote climate risks and impacts related to food systems, CREATE will develop a novel cross-border climate risk/impact assessment methodology for food value chains based on embedded resource use (e.g virtual water, carbon emission) trade concept that maps representative connections between European socio-economic activities and remote climatic hazards in Africa and in Turkey. CREATE’s climate assessment starts at farm level in producing regions in Africa and Turkey, focusing on crop yield changes under different climatic stressors and translates these impacts in a cascading way to the food systems and value chain in the EU in terms of vulnerabilities. It also looks at the socio-economic and environmental impacts of these trade relations.

The study will focus on selection of key traded crops between the EU and Africa and their key producing regions. The tasks will include overall analysis of current practices and the background in the regions, determination of key sensitive parameters in order to select key crops and food products and map hotspot regions. In addition, project team will assess climate risks for these hotspots on key crops and food products and link these risks with the importing countries. Climate risks will be assessed by identifying the multiple climate sensitivities on the food systems in each region, assessing changes predicted by a CMIP6 (latest) climate model ensemble on key agriculture-related climate indices, and analysing impacts on production-related indices, distinguishing between rainfed and irrigated production systems. It will be focused on country specific case studies in each partner country. The impacts of climate change on trade patterns will be evaluated to assess the carbon- and water footprints and virtual water profiles of key traded commodities of these countries. At the end, the project team will focus on policy relevance and assessment of adaptation strategies and identify interventions that will be needed, at which point in the system, and from which sector (or actor) is of interest.

The outcomes of CREATE will be used to increase awareness of the risks that climate change poses to the agro-food trade and the broader economy at large. They can contribute to efforts by the governments (macro-scale), the communities (meso-scale), as well as relevant agricultural producers (micro scale) in the case study countries, by providing essential information for promoting actions towards mitigating the negative consequences of climate change on agro-food trade.