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Report Links Climate to Grocery Inflation

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Food prices and general inflation will rise as global temperatures increase as a result of climate change, according to a study from environmental scientists and the European Central Bank, reports AP News.

The researchers used monthly price tags of foods and other items as well as temperature and climate data since 1996 to conclude that “weather and climate shocks” will cause the cost of food to rise 1.5-1.8 percentage points annually within a decade. The report found that this translates to a global inflation increase of 0.8 to 0.9 percentage points by 2035 solely caused by climate change-related extreme weather.

“The physical impacts of climate change are going to have a persistent effect on inflation,” said the study’s lead author, Max Kotz, climate scientist at Germany's Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. “This is really from my perspective another example of one of the ways in which climate change can undermine human welfare, economic welfare.”

The author noted that, when economists usually talk about climate change-related inflation, they discuss rising energy prices in an effort to curb warming; however, it is only part of the problem.

“There are these productivity shocks that we know about from climate change, from the weather phenomena caused by climate change, from heat waves and so forth to reduce agricultural productivity,” Kotz said. “Those also then have a knock-on effect on food inflation, on headline inflation.” Full Story