(Bonn) – The Government of Germany hosted a three-day conference on The Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus with the UN Global Compact holding two policy sessions – one focused on water stewardship, and the second focused on private finance in relation to the nexus.
Convened by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, the conference drew more than 500 delegates from the international public sector, science, civil society, and business and finance.
In his remarks during the plenary session, Georg Kell, Executive Director of the Global Compact, said that in order to advance security with respect to water, energy, food, at least three issues must be addressed: i) stamping our widespread corruption; ii) adequately valuing natural capital and properly accounting for negative externalities; and iii) a shift by all stakeholders to long-term horizons over short-term considerations.
Gavin Power, Deputy Director of the Global Compact and member of the Bonn Conference Steering Committee, added that the role of the business and finance sectors will be critical in finding solutions, explaining that the issues are too large and complex for the public sector to solve alone.
At the conference, the Global Compact Office led two special sessions: “The Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus: Understanding the Risks and Opportunities for Private Finance”, co-convened with the UNEP Finance Initiative and the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment; and “Corporate Water Stewardship: To What Extent Can Business Actions on Water Contribute to Energy and Food Security”, co-convened with the Pacific Institute, the Alliance for Water Stewardship, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
A full report on the conference and related policy recommendations will be issued by the Government of Germany in the coming weeks. These recommendations are the intended contributions to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in 2012.