Water, Food & Energy Crisis; Risking it All

Plenty of reasons to focus on green growth in new report from World Economic Forum

One of the main risks threatening global prosperity and security over the coming decade is the interconnected crisis around water, food and energy. Decisionmakers need to keep their eye steadily on this “nexus”, says a team of experts on behalf of the World Economic Forum upon the release of Global Risks 2011, the Forums flagship publication. 

Global Risks 2011 contains strong arguments for politicians to be even more focused on the fact that economic development is simply not possible without recognizing the need to confront issues like water scarcity and global changes in the climate. The main risk driver is the growing global population, expected to reach 7.7 billion in the next ten years. It leads to a rapid rise in the need for energy, water and food ressources, but running the global economy on fossil fuels will undermine both water and food production. This also means, however, that there are immense trade offs in attacking the nexus in an integrated way. 

Population growth drives a number of global risks.

 

Writes World Economic Forum: “Water security, food security and energy security are chronic impediments to economic growth and social stability: food production requires water and energy; water extraction and distribution requires energy; and energy production requires water. Food prices are also highly sensitive to the cost of energy inputs through fertilizers, irrigation, transport and processing”. 

The Forum suggests four levers: upulat they identify the main global risks that thIntegrated and Mulit stakeholder resource planning, regionally focused infrastructure development, market led resource pricing, community level empowerment and implementation and technological and financial innovation.  

Using these levers meets, however, on a higher level another global risk; the crisis of global governance, says the report. The inadequacy of the UN climate negotiating process is indentifyed as one of two overriding risks facing global decisionmakers. 

Watch this video to learn about the inconnectivity of the water, food and energy crisis. 

  

Read more about Global Risks 2011 here.

Laura Storm, Project Director, Project Green Light

About Laura Storm, Project Director, Project Green Light

Project Director, Green Growth Leaders & Project Green Light

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