We are used to tackling challenges as single issues – rainforest depletion, overfishing, water scarcity – to name but a few. NGOs run compelling campaigns on single issues, companies develop issue-based targets, and most critically governments set policy and regulation in issue-based silos. But the scale of the resource crunch that we will see in the coming 20 years, with 3 billion more middle class consumers, means we will be forced to see, and manage, the connections and trade offs between these issues. At the heart of this is the water-food-energy nexus. We need new campaigns, new corporate strategies and new policies which consider these connections and drive dramatic efficiency and productivity improvements, the right land use choices and product innovation. And all this whilst meeting the legitimate needs and desires of those 3 billion new middle class consumers.
Andy Wales is Global Head of Sustainable Development
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