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Sustainable Energy, Water, and Food Systems

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TF10: Description

Food, water and energy are core pillars of economic prosperity. As such, affordability, sustainability and security of these three resources are central to geopolitical and economic discourse. However, it remains the case that a substantial portion of the global population does not have sufficient access to modern energy services, adequate nutrition and/or clean water. The challenges associated with eliminating poverty and providing access to adequate food, energy and water are not easily remedied, and can be very different across regions. Nevertheless, addressing these issues is critical to providing platforms for growth and prosperity.

At the same time, to address concerns related to climate change there is an increasing tendency to transition toward lower greenhouse-gas emissions (GHG). Governments have to find solutions for these transitions that are acceptable to their constituents and, leveraging all available resource and technology options, efficient from an economic perspective. While the various proposals carry desirable end goals, the pathway has the potential to disproportionately affect economies that heavily depend on fossil resource endowments, have scarce water resources, or import food. The G20 can play an important role in addressing these issues to ensure shared and inclusive global prosperity.

This task force will produce policy recommendations to enhance the management of energy, water and food systems and ensure security of supply for the global population in an efficient and sustainable way. The scale of existing networks and value chains and how the deployment of new technologies and contributes to policy discourse will be examined. The task force also aims to provide guidance to achieve efficient transitions that reduce GHG emissions while allowing all economies to prosper. It will also offer recommendations on how to enhance international cooperation, infrastructure and institutions that help to ensure the stability of markets, for the joint benefit of both producing and consuming countries.​

Taskforce Priorities
  • Supporting sustainable and orderly transitions that create prosperity for all
  • Accelerating the attainment of related SDGs
  • Addressing challenges such as energy poverty, sustainability of the food-water- energy nexus, local stresses of urbanization, economic and environmental resilience
  • Energy security, market stability and economic and environmental vulnerabilities
  • The security and sustainability of agriculture, food and water supply and distribution networks
  • Security and sustainability of water supply, including through technology such as water desalination
  • Beginning a broader dialogue on various energy transition strategies that recognize the roles of legacy, scale and technology and the regionally-specific nature of various potential pathways
List of Forthcoming Policy Briefs
  • The role of bio-innovation to contribute to food security
  • The role of hydrogen in a low carbon economy
  • Refreshing global energy security policy and infrastructure for the energy transition
  • Towards sustainable foreign direct investment in agriculture – the role of open data platforms
  • Scaling up sustainable agricultural practices
  • TTowards a new framework to support sustainable and integrated food, water, and energy security policies
  • Challenges and opportunities posed by decarbonization to oil-rich countries
  • Waste management and electricity generation in Africa: developing waste-to-energy
  • Regional approaches to address the water-food-energy nexus
  • Integrated policies to improve the energy-water-food system
  • Promoting human-centric technologies and urban nexus for addressing water, energy, food (WEF) sustainability challenges of smart cities
  • Energy transitions: challenges, bottlenecks, and policies
  • Enhanced water security and energy access: Key investments for Africa
  • Hitting two birds with one stone – tackling climate change through technological convergence and coupling of the electricity and transport sectors
  • Global food and water security, trade and market stability
  • The true cost of food
  • Bioeconomy: a sustainable development strategy
  • Energy subsidy since the Pittsburgh G20: a lost decade?
  • Promoting energy market stability in a transitioning world
  • Framing energy and minerals for future pathways
  • The role of financial development and innovation in energy transition of G20 states
  • New concepts of energy security
  • Challenges of digitization to energy policy: a role for big data analysis
  • Road for an inclusive customer-facing hydrogen ecosystem to expedite the energy transition

Lead Co-Chair


​Hossa Almutairi​

Research Fellow, KAPSARC

Taskforce Co-chairs

  • Kenneth Medlock III, Senior Director, Center for Energy Studies, Baker Institute for Public Policy, Director, Master of Energy Economics, Economics Department Rice University
  • Rob Vos , Director, Markets, Trade and Institutions Division, IFPRI
  • James McGann, Senior Lecturer of International Studies at the Lauder Institute, Director of the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Christophe Bonnery, Executive Vice President, IAEE

Taskforce Coordinator


Majed Alsuwailem​​

Senior Research Associate, KAPSARC

Contact Coordinator