Saturday, May 26, 2012

Water, energy and land must be considered together if technology innovation is to succeed

Aisling Irwin in More technological innovation is needed to fight growing resource scarcity, but it will only be successful in achieving sustainable development if it considers the use of water, energy and land as interdependent issues, according to a European report.

Investment in innovation is required for sustainable agriculture, for achieving more efficient use of water and energy, and for rolling out renewable energy technologies, says the 'European Report on Development 2011–2012', funded by the European Commission and seven European states.

But failure to consider the three basic resources of water, energy and land as a 'nexus' — in which the use of one affects the availability of the other two — is leading to poor decisions that ultimately work against sustainable development, it says.

....The third in an annual series, the report, subtitled 'Confronting Scarcity', combines two strands of emerging thought. The first is that of absolute resource scarcity. Demand for energy and water is set to increase by 40 per cent in the next two decades, and demand for food — which will in turn be one of the factors increasing land demand — by 50 per cent. But there is not enough of these resources to meet the demand unless their management is transformed.

The second is that of the interconnectedness of resources, a phenomenon the authors believe is largely ignored in setting policy...

A community garden in Seattle, shot by Symi81, Wikimedia Commons, public domain

No comments: