Canning House Research Forum

Latin American Trade in the Age of Climate Change

Impact, Opportunities and Policy Options

Welcome to the second report from the Canning House Research Forum at the LSE.

The Canning House Research Forum is hosted by the LSE Latin America and Caribbean Centre (LACC) and is a multi-year rolling programme of research and policy engagement around the overarching theme of “The Future of Trade in Latin America and the Caribbean”.

Dr Amir Lebdioui is the Canning House Research Fellow based at the LSE LACC. His research lies at the crossroads between industrial policy, natural resource management and the sustainable development agenda. He tweets at @amirlbd and can be contacted at [email protected].

In this report:

The economic future of Latin America and the Caribbean is intrinsically linked to climate change. In the context of a 21st century that will be marked by climate change and the global fight against it, the status quo is unlikely to help Latin American economies leap forward economically, which calls for a major rethinking of trade and investment strategies in the region. A Latin American Green Deal, based on regional coordination to exploit existing synergies and economies of scale, could be the way forward.

Across the region there is growing evidence of climate change - precipitation patterns are shifting, temperatures are rising, and some areas are experiencing changes in the frequency and severity of weather extremes such as floods and droughts. By 2050, it is estimated that climate change damage could cost USD 100 billion annually to the region. The impact of climate change, which will be more devastating in Latin America than in most parts of the world, also influences the region’s ability to trade and its long-term export prospects. The increasing frequency of extreme meteorological events has already led to devastating effects on production, tourism, and trade infrastructure, while expected fluctuations in precipitation and temperature also threaten the long-term productivity of several agricultural outputs, which many countries in the region depend on as a source of exports.

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