4-9 September 2022, Bonn, Germany
EMS Annual Meeting Abstracts
Vol. 19, EMS2022-416, 2022
EMS Annual Meeting 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

A climate storyline approach to inform private sector decisions on cross-border climate risks:A case study of the chocolate industry in Europe

Ertug Ercin, Alexander Kaune, and Cagri Karaman
Ertug Ercin et al.
  • R2Water Research and Consultancy, Amsterdam, Netherlands (ercin@r2water.nl)

Europe is the major chocolate manufacturer in the world. With a market value of 40 billion euros, the sector not only serves the continent’s internal chocolate demand but supplies most of the world, accounting for more than 76% of global chocolate sales. Yet the sector is highly dependent on imports of chocolate’s main ingredient, cocoa, from beyond Europe, mainly from West Africa. This dependency means that the sector is vulnerable to climate extremes, and possible climate change impacts, that occur in cocoa exporting regions. This study uses the climate storyline approach to build links between extreme climatic events occurring in two major West African cocoa exporting countries and their potential consequences on European society and its economy. It aims to provide cross-border climate risk information to the chocolate industry in Europe.

The climate storyline approach is inspired by a drought event in West Africa in 1983, which resulted in cocoa production losses of up to 60% in the region. Consequently, cocoa prices spiked and there was a shortage of supply which affected prices for both chocolate producers and consumers in Europe. The storyline approach includes a modeling chain of these events, i.e., the impacts of the drought on cacao yields and cocoa production in the exporting region; consequent changes to the trade volume between the region and Europe, and to cocoa prices; and the cascading economic impacts of these changes on the wider chocolate industry. Furthermore, drought impacts on cacao yields and cocoa production under future climatic conditions are determined for the periods 2021-2040, 2041-2060 and 2081-2100 under RCP 2.6, 7.0 and 8.5 scenarios. Next, the storyline modeling chain is applied to the future climatic conditions to reveal how climate change in West Africa could impact European society and its economy, with a particular focus on chocolate manufacturing.

How to cite: Ercin, E., Kaune, A., and Karaman, C.: A climate storyline approach to inform private sector decisions on cross-border climate risks:A case study of the chocolate industry in Europe, EMS Annual Meeting 2022, Bonn, Germany, 5–9 Sep 2022, EMS2022-416, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2022-416, 2022.

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