By 2030 demand for food, water and energy is expected to rise by 30-40%. This is due to population growth and to a growing middle class in emerging and developing nations. At the same time, impacts of climate change and overuse of natural resources are creating new risks for food production and security as well as for water availability. Addressing energy poverty from the perspective of renewable energy technologies also gives rise to tensions – be it that scarce land is used for the production of biofuels (instead of food) or that scarce water is used for hydropower (with the risk of resettlements and potential harm to ecosystems and species).
ERD 2012’s overarching question is: What does the evidence tell us about the appropriate roles of the public and private sector in managing natural resources for inclusive and sustainable growth in the context of increased scarcity and climate change?
To put this question into a sharper focus, ERD 2012 is divided into three main parts:
- Context, concepts and frameworks: with attention on the land-water-energy nexus, including such issues as resource-efficient production, water access for productive uses, threats to food security, land acquisitions, and biofuels.
- Case studies: illustrating resource scarcity, the major transitions outlined under the land-water-energy nexus, as well as the move towards a global low-carbon world by promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy.
- Policy implications: pulling together evidence and trends from the case studies that outline best practices and roles for the private sector and options for public-sector engagement, from concrete regulations/subsidies/taxes and punitive steps, to cooperative initiatives including public-private partnerships leading to better natural resource management.
The European Report on Development (ERD), drawing from economics, political and social sciences, is the main tangible output of the initiative “Mobilizing European Research for Development Policies” by the European Commission and some EU member states, and a counterpart to the major international global reports on development issues.
The first ERD “Overcoming Fragility in Africa – Forging a new European Approach” was released in October 2009 at the European Development Days in Stockholm. The ERD 2010 builds on the same research and financial “architecture” as the ERD 2009, with a focus on social protection, in particular within Sub-Saharan Africa.