This IFPRI Food Policy Report has been prepared in response to growing concerns about the impacts of climate change on Latin American economies, agriculture, and people. It adds to the climate change literature by assessing both local and global effects of changing agricultural yields on the economy, sub-national regions and different household types, including male and female headed households. To do so, the report applies a comprehensive modeling suite including four global climate models, ten crop models, a global trade model, three highly disaggregated computable general equilibrium models and household survey based vulnerability studies for Brazil, Mexico and Peru. The three selected countries cover a variety of economic and geographic diversity of Latin America and more than half of the region’s population.
Results of this report show that climate change impacts tend to be relatively small at an economy-wide level in all three countries. However, sectoral and household-level economic impacts tend to be diverse across countries and sub-national levels, mainly depending on projected changes in agricultural yields, the share of agriculture in regional GDP, crop-specific international trade balances, net food buyer/seller position and income diversification of households. As for gender, results from this study suggest that women headed households may be less vulnerable than man headed households, highlighting the importance to look at women as a source for solutions for building resilience to climate change. Given the relatively small impacts of climate change and a certain degree of uncertainty associated with them, we remain cautious in deriving very specific policy recommendations. In general, results of this report suggest that all three countries should try to maximize the benefits that may come with higher agricultural world market prices and to minimize the losses from reductions in agricultural yields.