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"We need to shift from energy-climate to energy-water" | Water Energy Food Nexus, Bonn 2011

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Water-Energy Nexus

22 Mar 12

“We need to shift from energy-climate to energy-water”

World Energy Council and World Water Council join forces to encourage public policy to address the “water-energy nexus”

The strong connexion between energy and water requires regular dialogue and the sharing of experiences and solutions. Now, their ever more interlinked future brings our two organisations together to tackle the world’s energy and water challenges.

At the 6th World Water Forum held last week (march 13th) in Marseille, France, Pierre Gadonneix, Chairman of the World Energy Council (WEC), and Loïc Fauchon, Chairman of the World Water Council, announced their commitment to cooperate in the long-term to promote greater energy efficiency in the management of water, recognise and improve energy usage in the water sector, and facilitate cross-sector dialogue. This announcement is the result of the longstanding commitment of both chairmen to develop a long-term partnership following a series of regular exchanges they had held since 2009.

Under the cooperation, the two organisations will:

  • Share data, studies, and information, and contribute to their mutual visibility , including:
    • Studies by the World Energy Council: Energy for Water (2010); Policy Assessment: Review of Energy and Climate Policies; Energy Policy Scenarios to 2050; and Energy and Urban Innovation
    • The ongoing work, Water and Green Growth, led by the World Water Council and the South Korean government
  • Discuss and consult with each other on future studies and research on water and energy
  • Ensure that both water and energy are considered in the work of both organisations
  • Organise specific sessions or workshops in the core programmes of both organisations’ World Congresses
  • Advance tangible solutions on both local and regional levels
  • Promote the communication on issues related to the “water–energy nexus”

On this occasion, Pierre Gadonneix, President of World Energy Council, says: “Water and energy have a unique relationship made of mutual interactions, one being either a vulnerability or an opportunity to the other. More importantly, they face similar long-term challenges in terms of rising demand – driven by demographic growth and pulled by global development – and addressing the issues of climate change, energy and water poverty which constitute fundamental barriers to human development.

“Both sectors also have comparable opportunities, especially in terms of the resources and technologies that are available to us to address those challenges: the important potential for efficiency to mitigate the growth of demand, resources which are numerous but concentrated and increasingly difficult to access, more sophisticated technologies which are also more expensive, and eventually massive and urgent investment needs.

“Therefore, similar and coordinated solutions and policies should be developed in terms of governance on both national and international levels. This has been the driver for our decision to strengthen the collaboration between the World Water Council and the World Energy Council.”

Loïc Fauchon, President of the World Water Council, adds: “At the heart of climate negotiations, we need to shift from the concept of energy-climate towards one of energy-water. Recognising the nexus between water and energy will translate into greater funding for water infrastructure. Energy and water both lie at the heart of securing tomorrow’s world.”

Further Reading

10 Jul 15

As momentum builds towards the negotiation of the Sustainable Development Goals and UN climate change summit later this year, the G7 countries have made a strong statement about the importance of climate security risks.

09 May 14

In order to improve our environmental security, should we think of water, food, energy and climate in nexus-like ways? Richard Matthew is skeptical. While “nexus thinking” promises to reduce waste and inefficiency, it could also heighten inequality, instability and the potential for violent conflict.

03 Dec 13

On 12-13 June 2014 King’s College London (KCL), the OCP Policy Center and the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB) will organize an international conference on The Water-Food-Energy-Climate Nexus in Global Drylands, which will take place in Rabat, Morocco. Papers from the conference will be considered for a special issue of the International Journal of Water Resources Development, subject to the Journal’s normal refereeing process. Deadline is 7 February 2014.

NEXUS in the Media

15 Mar 16


Innovation - in particular issues of storage, market design and climate resilience have become increasingly important drivers of change

10 Dec 12

AME Info

The United Arab Emirates hosted COP18’s central discussion of the energy-water-food-climate nexus, in cooperation with New York University. The panel, “It Never Rains in the GCC,” had identified priority government interventions in the market to manage the nexus as its global significance intensities.

25 Aug 15

Scientific experts from around the world gathered in Stockholm this week for the World Water Week to discuss the issue of water related crises the planet is facing as a result of climate change.

13 Aug 12

The Guardian

Water, energy, food - these three issues are the essential holy trinity of environmental sustainability. They are maddeningly intertwined and their effect reaches everyone – private, public, and social sectors alike. Because everyone is affected by each of these issues, and because they are so intertwined, everyone needs to be at the table. No one entity, no matter how large, can save us from ourselves.

20 Dec 11

IWA WaterWiki


  • IFPRI International Food Policy Research Institute
  • WEF World Economic Forum
  • WWF World Wide Fund for Nature

Bonn2011 Nexus Conference – in the context of Bonn Perspectives

  • Bonn Perspectives

initiated by

  • BONN
  • BMZ

funded by

  • European Regional Development Fund EFRE
  • NRW Ministerin fr Bundesangelegenheiten, Europa und Medien des Landes Nordrhein-Westphalen
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