Sustainable Growth

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Managing economic risks linked to climate change: Securing market access for South African wines

  • Year: 2020
  • Organisation: TIPS for the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition
  • Author(s): Gaylor Montmasson-Clair and Kudzai Mataba (TIPS)
  • Countries and Regions: South Africa

With greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions coming to the fore of nations’ climate policy concerns, the wine industry faces a new challenge. Viniculture (grape cultivation for winemaking) is directly susceptible to climate change impacts due to grapevines being highly sensitive to the surrounding environment, such as changes in weather patterns. In addition, the industry is increasingly targeted by climate change response measures, aimed at reducing GHG emissions. Such measures are poised to significantly alter traditional methods of production. Trade-related climate change response measures, such as shifts in import-export patterns, border carbon adjustments or non-tariff barriers (such as standards), are increasingly more prevalent. Accordingly, “green protectionism”, i.e. the justification of protectionist measures under the guise of addressing climate change and other environmental goals, is also becoming more prevalent internationally.

This paper unpacks the green protectionism dynamics affecting the domestic wine value chain that stand to be a growing risk moving forward. The paper also explores the factors that make it particularly difficult and yet necessary for South African producers to adapt to this new genus of regulation.

Report produced by TIPS for the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition.