The European Business Council for Africa

The growing demand for food, water and energy, in conjunction with climate change, puts pressure on land and freshwater resources. This problem can be acute in developing countries, where many households and producers have inadequate access to these commodities. While development is primarily driven by national policies, outcomes are often also influenced by external factors, especially the policies of developed countries and emerging economies. This paper explores the possible effects of these factors on climate action and food and water security in developing countries.

For instance, this study finds that subsidies for projects in the fossil fuel sector in developing countries, alongside international private finance, contradict climate mitigation commitments and may also negatively affect agriculture and water. Industrial and trade policies that promote imports of soybean and palm oil contribute to deforestation in producing regions and have knock-on effects on water and smallholder farmers. And policies encouraging investments in infrastructure, such as large-scale dams, while enabling economic growth, may also have adverse effects on water access for vulnerable communities.

Solving the trade-offs associated with these policies and ensuring that they work in unison requires a better integration of policy interlinkages around the water-energy-food nexus in legislative and regulatory impact assessments, followed by a reorientation of financial flows. Yet, the foreign policies of developed countries and emerging economies also need to create an enabling environment for low-income, vulnerable countries by reducing their external footprints.


Please read the full report here