The task force for climate-related financial disclosures (TCFD) may not appear to be a human rights tool, however, drilling down into transitional risks does in fact shine a light on the looming human rights crisis in the food supply chain.
Unpredictable weather events have increased in frequency and intensity, and data modelling for future 1.5°C+ climate scenarios show that this will continue. These impacts will be felt around the globe; however, they will be particularly catastrophic in regions responsible for agricultural production. The reality of extreme weather impacting food supplies became abundantly clear during recent events such as the floods in Pakistan, or the changing monsoon patterns in India leading to failed crops and increased pestilence. Extreme weather impacts are equally on the horizon in East Africa as drought worsens following four years of failed rains, with a fifth looking likely, leaving Somalia teetering on the brink of famine at the time of writing.
Due to the current geo-political climate, there is a short-term fear of stressed food supply chains and shortages, and a scramble for new suppliers. Long-term, entire regions that have historically relied on farming (including approximately two thirds of the African continent) will face devastation such as droughts, heatwaves, floods, and hurricanes rendering arid land, removing the possibility of a regular source of income from crops. In the Global South nations, this will leave thousands of communities in extreme poverty and facing starvation with no access to traditional food sources.
Many TCFD disclosures report on managing climate risks and avoiding adverse consequences for stakeholders, such as consumers and investors. However, to even begin to mitigate the ever-growing risk of humanitarian disasters within food supply chains, organisations must urgently look beyond imminent risk management and instead invest in climate resilience.
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