Expenditure spent on food linked to exposure to climate change?
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service, the share of consumer spending on food is measured as a percentage of total consumer spending per person (excluding restaurants, alcohol beverage and tobacco). Countries with a high share of food consumption are very likely exposed to price volatility. It is interesting to take a closer look at countries that have a share of more than 35% of total consumer spending.
Share of expenditure spent on food
Source: Beyond Ratings, Ourworldindata.org (Based on data availability. Pleased note that for African countries, 8 over 55 are covered). Emerging countries seems those with highest share of food expenditures, such as Nigeria (59%) and Kenya (52%), which both have food expenditures that are exceeding half of total expenditures. When taking a step back to look at the regional level emerging countries remain at the top of the list, with the South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa regions above 35% while all other regions are below 25%. It is also worth noting that the Europe and Central Asia region has an average of 20%, while Western Europe has a much lower average, around 12%, than Eastern Europe (23%) and Central Asia (30%). In addition, it can also be noted that South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa are among the region’s most vulnerable to natural disasters, according to the World Risk Index calculated by the United Nations Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS). Also, countries such as the Philippines, Guatemala, Vietnam, and Indonesia are highly exposed to natural disasters according to the same index. This leads us to believe these countries with a high share attributed to food as well as a high exposure to natural disasters could be most exposed to negative impacts of climate change.
Félix Fouret, Carbon/Climate Analyst
Sources: Beyond Ratings, Ourworldindata.org, UNU-EHS