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 also increasingly more prevalent.
South Africa is the world’s sixth largest exporter of wine in volume and has not been exempt from these trade impacts. This paper unpacks the green protectionism dynamics which have increasingly impacted the domestic wine value chain and 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.
This report was produced by TIPS for the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition