Food, Energy, Water and the Climate: A Perfect Storm of Global Events?
There is an intrinsic link between the challenge we face to ensure food security through the 21st century and other global issues, most notably climate change, population growth and the need to sustainably manage the world’s rapidly growing demand for energy and water. It is predicted that by 2030 the world will need to produce 50 per cent more food and energy, together with 30 per cent more available fresh water, whilst mitigating and adapting to climate change. This threatens to create a ‘perfect storm’ of global events. Science and technology can make a major contribution, by providing practical solutions. Securing this contribution requires that high priority be attached both to research and to facilitating the real world deployment of existing and emergent technologies. On food, we need a new, “greener revolution”. Techniques and technologies from many disciplines, ranging from biotechnology and engineering to newer fields such as nanotechnology, will be needed. On water, managing and balancing supply and demand for water across sectors requires a range of policy and technological solutions. Meeting the demand for energy, while mitigating and adapting to climate change, will require a mix of behavioural change and technological solutions. More (PDF)