In the hills of northern Greece, peach farmer Makis Antoniadis had already been grappling with the effects of climate change, but now he and his fellow growers are collateral damage in Donald Trump’s trade wars, a potentially devastating combination.
Since 2011, Greek authorities have recorded crop damage from extreme weather events over more than 1.52 million hectares, with compensation to farmers reaching almost 1 billion euros. Agricultural insurers attribute the phenomenon to climate change.
At the same time, US president Trump has been escalating his trade war, slapping tariffs on billions of dollars of European exports -- including Greek canned peaches -- in retaliation for illegal aid to Airbus SE.
But though this is a painful ‘double whammy’, Antoniadis said freak weather conditions worry him more than the effect of US levies: “The consequences of climate change are more significant and painful than Trump’s tariffs as we are already suffering from disastrous production in the last three years.”
His struggles to cope could be in vain unless urgent action is taken on a global level. Despite street protests around the world, rising pollution levels suggest efforts to shift away from the dirtiest fuels are moving too slowly to have a major impact on preserving the environment.