In the coming decades the world will face tough challenges: rising demand for energy, water, and food, tightening energy supplies, growing impact of climate change, and continued loss of biodiversity. Awareness is growing that these issues are interlinked and that single-issue solutions are not sustainable.
A lot of work has been done on understanding the linkages between two systems, but little is known on the nexus between the three of them.
In this interactive workshop Shell will present its efforts on the issue of energy/water/food competition through academic and scenario building, and on the ground in its operations. The significance for decision-making and relevance for better understanding and management of the water-food-energy nexus will be discussed. Shell also invites NGOs joining the debate and contributing to further development of acceptable options.
Shell develops scenarios, detailed visions of the future, to gain deeper understanding of global developments and the world's demand for energy, water and food, to prepare for what may come.
In 2008, Shell launched long term Energy Scenarios to 2050, which outlined two plausible routes the world could take to meet the challenge of providing more energy with less CO2. In 2010 it published Signals & Signposts, a companion to the Energy Scenarios, which highlights some of the looming stresses facing our planet, such as freshwater shortages and rapid urbanisation. It also considers changes in the economic environment arising from the global financial crisis.
Shell is developing new global scenarios. They will touch on shifts in the geopolitical environment from West to East, challenges to the economic paradigm, and resource stresses.
There is growing awareness of the relationship between energy, water and food, the energy-water-food Nexus. Over the next 20 years global demand for energy, water and food is anticipated to grow with 30-50%, with accompanying pressures on supply and broader environment. Shell is leading a Strategy team on the Nexus to better understand where and when stresses between energy, water and food systems and climate could arise.