Climate change made Brazil floods more likely: comment

Historic floods in southern Brazil that killed almost 200 people and displaced about 600,000 people.

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By George Smeeton

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Commenting on analysis of the role climate change played in floods in Brazil’s southern state of Rio Grande do Sul in late April and early May [1] Gareth Redmond-King, Head of International Programme at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) said:

“These rains and flooding, made more likely by climate change and El Niño, killed nearly 200 people, injured and displaced tens of thousands, and devastated agriculture in an area of land the size of the UK. The ramifications of climate disasters like this ripple far beyond the borders of the nations they hit.

"Brazil is a global agricultural powerhouse, exporting food all over the world. Last year alone, the UK imported one and a quarter billion pounds worth of food from Brazil, including £264m worth of soy beans, which are mostly used to feed livestock here in the UK. Alongside the loss of life and displacement of people, these floods will have harmed livelihoods of Brazilian farmers, threatening shortages and price rises for Brazilians and Brits alike.

"Until we stop burning fossil fuels to limit further temperature rises, these impacts will continue to intensify and become more dangerous. And as farmers in the UK also struggle with crops hit by unprecedented wet weather, it is clear that, without support for farmers to adapt to climate change - at home and abroad - we risk deepening the cost of living crisis, and threaten our food security.”

Notes to editors:

1. The World Weather Attribution analysis is published Monday 3 June, 4pm Eastern Time/ 5pm Brasilia time/ 10pm Central European Summer Time.

2. ECIU analysis found that El Niño has been turbo-charging climate change impacts which are already harming crops, risking shortages and driving price rises:

3. Analysis commissioned by ECIU also found that the impact of climate change added around £360 to the average household food bill in 2023:

For more information or for interview requests:

George Smeeton, Head of Communications, ECIU, Tel: +44 (0)7894 571 153, email: