WBCSD Report Describes Advantages of Addressing the Water, Food and Energy Nexus
May 2014: The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has released a report on the water, food and energy nexus, titled ‘Co-optimizing Solutions: Water and Energy for Food, Feed and Fiber.' The report was launched during the ‘Sustainability in the Water-Energy-Food Nexus' conference, on 20 May in Bonn, Germany, which was convened in recognition that the increasing demand for food and other agricultural products will put significant pressures on resources and impact greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.
The report shows how meeting the world's growing demand for food and other agricultural products can be achieved while minimizing environmental impact, and is based on research and quantitative analysis of global linkages.
The paper presents: smart and scalable solutions to meet the world's interconnected water, energy and food, feed and fiber challenges associated with increasing demand for agricultural products due to population growth and changing consumption patterns; projections for future demand for food, fiber and fodder under business-as-usual scenarios; implications of land management; perspectives on water use; impact of climate change on agriculture; energy requirements in agriculture; impact on emissions; agriculture and water quality; and impacts on markets.
Solutions detailed in the report relate to reducing shared water risks, increasing water efficiency in agriculture, restoring productivity to degraded land, and halving food waste from ‘field to fork.' The report describes a ‘Green New Deal' where solutions and investment address different challenges at the same time and access different cost and benefit streams. Working on the nexus between water, energy and food will co-optimize production increases, reduce pressure on water and land, and achieve higher energy efficiency, while avoiding negative side effects, according to the report. [Publication: Co-optimizing Solutions: Water and Energy for Food, Feed and Fiber] [Report Summary]