The Energy/Food/Water Nexus - Chemical Engineering Matters
AIChE Annual Meeting
Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - 8:30am to 9:30am
The world is facing a complex challenge. Population growth, urbanisation and a flourishing 'middle class' in the rapidly developing economies are driving consumer demand. At the same time, we have more than two billion people getting by on less than two dollars a day and the rightful goal to alleviate this poverty places additional demands on our fragile planet.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has predicted a doubling of global energy demand by 2030. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) predicts that the demand for foodstuffs will also double by 2030. And the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has reported that the demand for water will increase by 30% in the same period. These increases in demand must be viewed against the backdrop of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change asserting that human influence on the climate system is clear.
A former Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government coined the term "Perfect Storm" to describe all these interrelated issues.
The systems thinking and scenario-based learning that are the trademarks of the chemical engineering skill set must be brought to bear in order to tackle this "perfect storm". The presentation will summarise the global challenge from IChemE's perspective and highlight examples of chemical engineering solutions in all parts of the energy/food/water nexus. In addition, Des King will share his views on ways in which leading professional bodies, including AIChE and IChemE, can collaborate effectively to support chemical engineers word-wide in pursuit of sustainable solutions.