event 14 окт. 2016

Session Video // "Energy, water and food must be looked at holistically, not in isolation"

A recording of a session on the energy-water-food nexus at the 23rd World Energy Congress 2016 in Istanbul

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Watch the Session

World Energy Congress website

Participants of the Session

  • Matar Al Neyadi, Undersecretary, Ministry of Energy; Vice Chair for the Gulf States/Middle East, Government of UAE; World Energy Council, UAE
  • Guillermo Bravo Mancheño, Senior Vice President, Abengoa, Spain
  • Jason Drew, Chief Executive Officer, AgriProtein, South Africa
  • Maria Neira, Director Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants, World Health Organisation, Switzerland


Energy is inextricably linked to water and food, and all three are crucial to human existence however, the debate in the global energy business often overlooks this nexus, agreed panellists at the 23rd World Energy Congress in Istanbul.

Water is a critical component of not only agriculture but also electricity production. Ninety-eight percent of electricity directly depends on water, from the extraction of primary energy sources such as oil and gas, to hydroelectric dams and river run-offs.

“The world is on the wrong track with water use and we need to get back to a holistic appreciation of water and its interaction with energy and life,” said Jason Drew, CEO, AgriProtein, a South African company that turns organic food waste into reusable proteins in a process that uses almost no water.

“The cost of not doing something about water is unimaginable. Unfortunately, there is not a regular and clear policy around the world. There is no decision taken seriously,” said Matar Al Neyadi, the UAE’s Undersecretary at the Ministry of Energy and Vice Chair for the Gulf States/Middle East at the World Energy Council. Maria Neira, Director of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants, WHO, said,“We need to work on these essential pillars of clean energy, clean water and clean air. Clean air is the next human disaster on the horizon.” Guillermo Bravo Mancheno, Senior Vice President, Abengoa, believes that governments should do more to promote investment.“We know we need energy and investment. We have to elevate policies and governments to promote framework in the private sector… to engage people and communicate that this is sustainable for them and they should encourage it and pay for it.” A World Energy Council report called “The road to resilience – managing the risks of the energy-water-food nexus,” prepared in collaboration with Swiss Re Corporate Solutions and Marsh & McLennan, is the first in a series that addresses the need for more investment and system change to combat the new emerging risks, including extreme weather, the energy-water-food nexus and cyber risks.

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Cecilia Vey

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