Worldwide Evidences in the Relationships between Agriculture, Energy and Water Sectors

Massimo Peri, Daniela Vandone, Lucia Baldi


Water, food and energy (WFE) are strongly interconnected: each depends on the other for a lot of concerns, spanning from guaranteeing access to services, to environmental, social and ethical impact issues, to price relations.
The development, use, and waste generated by demand for these resources drive global changes and fears of resource scarcity. To date, a new approach to the concept of sustainable development is emerging and a joint analysis of these three areas is needed. “Demand for water, food and energy is expected to rise by 30-50% in the next two decades, while economic disparities incentivize short-term responses in production and consumption that undermine long-term sustainability. Shortages could cause social and political instability, geopolitical conflict and irreparable environmental damages. Any strategy that focuses on one part of the WFE relationships without considering its interconnections risks serious unintended consequences” (World Economic Forum, 2011).
In the last years international organizations have organized several conferences to raise awareness of the WFE nexus (IISD 2011, footnote p.6) and some studies have addressed this issue trying to provide a theoretical integrated view aimed at understanding how to tackle these complex relationships when identifying policies and actions (Brazilian et al. 2011, Elobeid et al. 2013, Howells et al. 2013). These studies have analyzed the technical connection that exists between the three elements in order to highlight the need for joint policy designed to ensure a sustainable development. From an economic point of view, there are still very few analysis that utilize empirical approaches to support recent theoretical literature (Peterson et al. 2014, Curmi et al. 2013).
This area is clearly massive and an economic analysis of the link aimed at understanding the interactions and correlations on a global scale is still needed. Such an analysis can be conducted using price relationships.

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ISSN 2194-511X


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