Products of change. News

Cotton growing at risk of climate change

Thu 22 Jul 2021 | 06:47 am GMT
Michelle Urquhart | Products of Change Writer

Cotton growing is under threat from climate change. Image by valdosta from Pixabay

Half of all cotton growing regions face severe climate risks by 2040 if carbon emissions continue to soar according to a new report by the Cotton 2040 initiative. Under a worst-case climate scenario, the report highlights that all global cotton growing regions will be exposed to increased risk from at least one climate hazard by 2040. While this increase ranges from very low to very high risk, half of the world’s cotton growing regions will face drastic changes with high or very high-risk exposure to at least one climate hazard. All six highest cotton-producing countries – India, USA, China, Brazil, Pakistan and Turkey – are exposed to increased climate risk, particularly from wildfire, drought and extreme rainfall. The highest climate risk overall is projected for two regions of the world; northwestern Africa, including northern Sudan and Egypt, and western and southern Asia. Some regions are set to face high or very high exposure to up to seven climate hazards. Cotton exposure to heat stress (defined as temperatures above 40°C) will be an increased risk across 75% of cotton growing regions, with the risk being high or very high across <5% of regions. And 40% of global cotton growing regions are projected to experience a decrease in growing season as temperatures increase beyond the optimum temperature range for cotton growing. The report, “Adapting to climate change - physical risk assessment for global cotton production”, was commissioned by the Cotton 2040 initiative, which is facilitated by international sustainability non-profit Forum for the Future and supported by Laudes Foundation. The analysis was conducted by Cotton 2040 partner and climate-risk specialists Acclimatise, part of Willis Towers Watson’s Climate and Resilience Hub. Sally Uren, chief executive, Forum for the Future, said: “This analysis is a wake-up call for the cotton industry, on which much of the apparel sector is currently hugely reliant. In order to build resilience for a highly disrupted and uncertain future, the widespread shifts to sustainable forms of cotton production must be bolstered by ambitious and aligned action to reduce carbon emissions while also preparing the industry to operate in a very different world.” Access the reports, interactive Climate Risk Explorer tool supporting resources here: Acclimatise - Cotton-2040.
related articles
‘Forever chemicals’ found in snow on Everest

Synthetic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) - also known as ‘forever chemicals’ - used in water-repellent outdoor gear have been found in snow from the top of Mount Everest.

Read More

Tue 26 Jan 2021 | 08:24 am GMT

"Earthshot is for you" | Duke and Duchess issue message of climate action to next generation

Devised and launched by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the inaugural Earthshot Prize awards sent a direct message to the generations to follow that ‘the solutions to repair our planet will be found.’

Read More

Mon 18 Oct 2021 | 12:08 pm GMT

100 Days of Possibility leading to COP26

Launched today on Earth Overshoot Day (29 July), the 100 Days of Possibility are proven and scalable solutions that countries, cities and businesses can action to minimise humanity’s ecological footprint.

Read More

Thu 29 Jul 2021 | 07:37 am GMT

Harness digital tech to achieve net zero

A new report by the Royal Society says digital technology could deliver nearly one third of the carbon emission reductions required by 2030

Read More

Thu 03 Dec 2020 | 02:57 pm GMT

Most read stories
Green Game Jam calls on gamers to act

Video games studios around the world commit to implement green activations highlighting need for conservation and restoration of forests and oceans.

Read More

Mon 07 Jun 2021 | 05:29 pm GMT

Earth Day reading list

Make it your goal to expand your eco-know-how this Earth Day by reading one of our recommended books.

Read More

Thu 22 Apr 2021 | 08:31 am GMT

Products of Change spotlights sustainability at BLE 2021

Products of Change is going big. Really big. And it will be doing so at this year's Brand Licensing Europe with a major new activation.

Read More

Tue 21 Sep 2021 | 01:10 pm GMT

H&M and John Boyega partner on sustainable fashion line

The forward-thinking fashion retailer, H&M has joined forces with Hollywood actor and activist, John Boyega for the launch of a new sustainable clothing range made from vegan leather.

Read More

Fri 08 Oct 2021 | 10:33 am GMT

Co-op and Hubbub to open community fridges

Major new partnership will see 100 new community fridges added to Hubbub’s network to reach 250 by the end of 2021.

Read More

Tue 25 May 2021 | 12:45 pm GMT

Asda launches green Christmas range

Asda's first sustainable Christmas range will save 66 tonnes of plastic this year

Read More

Mon 12 Oct 2020 | 07:24 am GMT

eBay launches certified refurbished hub

Latest lockdown trend from eBay UK reveals one refurbished item selling every 14 seconds on the online marketplace in the last year.

Read More

Tue 09 Mar 2021 | 11:41 am GMT

Sustainability creates value for brands

“It doesn’t matter what you call it, as long as you do it,” Mattel’s head of sustainability, Pamela Gill-Alabaster commented about sustainability in a Licensing International webinar last week (18…

Read More

Tue 23 Mar 2021 | 06:56 am GMT