Resource Security Trends

Commentary | December 19, 2013

With the New Year approaching, several EWI staff and fellows offered their lists of what they believed were the most significant events of 2013.

Michele Ferenz, Director, Water-Food-Energy Nexus Program

The Nexus Gains Visibility 

In its 2013 report “Global Trends 2030,” the U.S. National Intelligence Council described the interconnected risks in water, energy and food supply security as a “megatrend” that will profoundly shape the future. By 2030, demand for food, water and energy will have increased by 35, 40 and 50 percent, respectively. Efforts are multiplying to understand synergies and trade-offs across the sectors, align policies and practices for optimal resource use and benefit sharing, and to drive concrete solutions. 

2013: The United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation

With a series of conferences and events in Spain, the Netherlands, Tajikistan, Sweden and Hungary, the UN highlighted the central role of water in development and peacebuilding. It did so in the context of the ongoing negotiations of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will set the international framework for cooperation after 2015.     

Climate Change Threatens National Security

“National Security and the Threat of Climate Change,” a study produced under the auspices of the nonprofit CNA Corporation and based on the expertise and perspectives of 11 retired four-star and three-star admirals and generals, found that climate change could affect Americans at home. It also presents serious risks to global security, particularly through increased population movements, border tensions, demands for rescue efforts and conflicts over essential resources, including food and water. 

United States and China Increase Cooperation on Climate Challenge

The United States and China have agreed to five new action initiatives. The goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution by tackling the largest sources of emissions in both countries. The areas are: 1) Reducing emissions from heavy-duty and other vehicles; 2) Increasing carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS); 3) Increasing energy efficiency in buildings, industry and transport; 4) Improving greenhouse gas data collection and management; 5) Promoting smart grids. 


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