The revenues of farmers in Southern Europe are expected to fall sharply as a result of global warming while those of farmers in Western and Northern Europe will increase, in Belgium by up to 8.5 %. The conclusions were published in a study by Environmental Economics Professor Steven Van Passel at the University of Hasselt. The study has been published in the journal “Environmental & Resource Economics”.
The researchers studied data from more than 40,000 agricultural firms from 15 countries. “We used a method that takes into account the adaptability of businesses,” says Steven Van Passel.
“By combining and reworking different data series, we were able to link the current value of arable land with the temperature and precipitation variables.”
The study also takes into account soil quality, distance to a city or port, subsidies to agriculture, population density and altitude of agricultural areas.
According to the results, countries like Spain and Italy would lose 5% of the value of agricultural land if the temperature will increase by one degree. In Portugal and Greece the loss could reach 9%.
“Arable land in the UK, Ireland and the Scandinavian countries would gain more than 10% in value – in Belgium 8.5%,” says Steven Van Passel. “We can see that the economic impact of climate change is primarily determined by temperature changes and to a lesser extent by changes in rainfall.”
The Brussels Times (Source: Belga)