Climate Change

Tool // Climate, Land (Food), Energy and Water Systems Approach (CLEWs)

The Climate, Land (Food), Energy and Water systems approach (CLEWs) focuses on assessing interlinkages between resource systems in order to understand how these are related with each other, where pressure points exist, and how to minimize trade-offs while potentiating synergies. The framework is applicable to different geographical scales, from global, to regional, national and urban levels. ​The tool is used and actively developed in partnership with UNDESA and the UNDP.

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The Climate, Land (Food), Energy and Water systems approach (CLEWs) focuses on assessing interlinkages between resource systems in order to understand how these are related with each other, where pressure points exist, and how to minimize trade-offs while potentiating synergies. This type of integrated assessments usually involve a strong quantification process which can be performed in different scales of complexity, either by 1) the use of accounting frameworks; 2) via the development of sectoral models (for water, energy and land use), and subsequent soft-linking of tools in an iterative process; or 3) making using of one single modelling tool that accounts for the representation of several cross- and inter-systems’ interactions. The models are then used to investigate questions related to the relevant nexus interactions.
The framework is applicable to different geographical scales, from global, to regional, national and urban levels. At the urban scale is was successfully applied to case study of New York City for the investigation of water and energy system interventions, exploring the interlinkages and cross-sectoral implications of single-resource management. These are just examples, and the questions and scenarios to be analysed are adaptable and specific to each country/region circumstances.
The tool is used and actively developed in partnership with UNDESA and the UNDP. They form integral parts of the Global OpTIMUS (Open Tools, Integrated Modelling and Upskilling for Sustainable Development) community of practice.
More information on CLEWs

Projects

The CLEWs methodology has been employed in a variety of projects that span over different scales and regions, with partner institutions across the world. The projects aim at disseminating the importance of nexus thinking for the development of integrated policies and sectoral strategies, that are sound and effectively contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development.
More information on CLEWs projects 

CLEWs Modeling Examples

The Global CLEWS model provides useful insights about the relationships among water, energy, climate, and land and material use at the global scale. It was developed to inform Rio+20 discussions and will soon be upgraded to provide useful insights about the interlinkages among climate, land, materials, energy and water underlying the relationships among many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The challenge of progressing towards the SDGs is best approached taking into account synergies and trade-offs among them.
More information on CLEWs models

Contact

Division of Energy System Analysis
KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Brinellvägen 68
S-100 44 Stockholm
www.desa.kth.se
​clews@desa.kth.se

Further Reading 

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SDGs

Publication // The Water-Food-Energy Nexus: Insights into resilient development

By SAB Miller and WWF (World Wildlife Fund). This collaborative report looks at 16 countries or states, comparing the ways in which their development patterns have managed their different mixes of resources and different capacities to make use of those resources.

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Ecosystems / WEFE Nexus

Publication // The Development of the Water-Energy-Food Nexus as a Framework for Achieving Resource Security: A Review

By Gareth B. Simpson and Graham P. W. Jewitt. This paper presents a study of the evolution of the water-energy-food (WEF) nexus since its rise to prominence in policy and development discourses in 2011. Drawing from an extensive review of published literature, the paper presents various interpretations of the concept while also considering the novelty of the WEF nexus.

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Capacity Building

Publication // A 40-year review of food–energy–water nexus literature and its application to the urban scale

By Newell, J. P., Goldstein, B., & Foster, A. (2019). What research exists to date on the FEW nexus? How have scholars conceptualized these interactions at the urban scale? What are some promising approaches? Where are the research gaps? To answer these questions, this paper conducts a quantitative review of the academic literature on the FEW nexus (1399 publications) over more than four decades (1973–2017), followed by in-depth analysis of the most influential papers using an evaluation matrix...

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