Cotton’s popularity is soaring.
It is used to make clothes, bedding and other items.
Its use has also been used to help make medical equipment.
But it is also being used to produce clothing, with growing demand from Asia, the US and Europe.
But there are fears that as cotton becomes more of a commodity, it will become more vulnerable to the global warming that is happening.
The International Cotton Council says cotton can be used for textile and textiles manufacturing at the current rate, but in the future the industry is unlikely to have the capacity to produce enough cotton for all the world’s needs.
That means the world could see a spike in cotton production and the global cotton market would shrink by about 60 per cent.
“Cotton is the most valuable commodity on the planet, but there is no reason to think that it will not be affected by climate change,” says Michael Wood, the president of the International Cotton Board, which represents more than 200 cotton producers.
He says cotton could also become more prone to disease, which is particularly likely in hotter climates.
“We are seeing the emergence of disease resistance and other problems with cotton,” he says.
“There are going to be times when it is no longer suitable for production, and you are going be seeing more and more cotton grown on land that is not suitable for cotton production.”
Mr Wood says the growing demand for clothing is one of the biggest challenges facing the global textile industry, which has grown at an unsustainable rate.
“You have the huge demand from the Asia-Pacific region, China, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America,” he said.
“These are markets that have been growing rapidly, but they have also been hit by climate issues, including the heatwave that we are experiencing right now.”
In 2017, China accounted for over a quarter of global cotton production.
And it is expected that by 2020, cotton production could reach 70 per cent of the global supply.
But while the industry’s share of global demand is growing, there are concerns about how much cotton will actually be grown.
It’s not clear how many plants are actually being planted and, if any, the supply of cotton will improve as it becomes more affordable.
What is the cotton industry doing about climate change?
Cotton producers are taking steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but many are not confident that they can meet the targets they set.
Last year, Australia’s largest cotton producer, Woolworths, pledged to cut its emissions by 10 per cent over the next four years.
However, the company said it would still need to double the number of cotton plants it currently uses in order to meet its 2020 targets.
And the United States, which produces more than 50 per cent in the world, has also set a target of reducing its greenhouse gas footprint by 20 per cent by 2030.
The Australian Woolworth’s group said its cotton operations were “in line with current production levels and we are continuing to meet them”.
It also said its 2020 goal of reducing emissions by 15 per cent was still achievable.
But the group said it could be “extremely difficult to achieve this target without significant further investment”.
In its annual report, the Australian Cotton Council said the industry had “the capacity to meet these targets, but the reality is that the industry cannot rely on an aggressive target and the environment is not on our side”.
It said it expected the industry would need to invest $30 billion to $40 billion a year over the five years to meet the 2020 targets, while a report by the Australian Agricultural Policy Foundation predicted the industry could need to spend between $10 and $20 billion a week.
The council said the government should help cotton farmers with “climate change mitigation assistance” and the National Farmers’ Union said it was working with industry to support the industry.