5M people worldwide will be under ‘pressure’ to meet food, energy, water services demands by 2035

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The World Bank (WB) said on Monday that two-thirds or 5 million people all over the world, particularly the people in developing countries, would be under pressure in meeting the world’s demand for food, energy and water by 2035.

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In a statement, the WB said that the problem in energy production would increase as the world’s consumption of energy increases, with the limitation of water resources which are required to generate and produce energy.

“With two-thirds of the world’s population – or 5 billion people – urbanized by 2030, cities in developing countries will be under tremendous pressure to meet the demand for food, energy, and water services,” the WB said.

“The world’s energy and water are inextricably linked. With demand rising for both resources and increasing challenges from climate change, water scarcity can threaten the long-term viability of energy projects and hinder development,” Rachel Kyte added, who is the WB vice president for climate change.

Kyte’s statement was based on the International Energy Agency (IEA) data hat energy consumption would go up by 35 percent as well as water consumption by 85 percent by 2035.

The WB said that by 2035, demand for agricultural produce will also increase by 50 percent.

The multilateral added that about 780 million people still lack access to improved water while 2.5 billion or one-third of the world’s population do not have basic sanitation.

The WB further said that water constraints in energy investments should be pointed out and attended to by public and private sectors as the energy sector post high risks and costs.

“Water constraints on the energy sector can be overcome, but all stakeholders, public and private, must work together to develop innovative tools and use water as a guiding factor for assessing viability of projects. The absence of integrated planning is unsustainable,” said Maria van der Hoeven, IEA executive director.

“We cannot meet our global energy goals of extending access to the poor, increasing efficiency and expanding renewables without water.  The water energy interrelationship is critical to build resilient as well as efficient, clean energy systems. The time to act is now,” Kyte said.

In the Philippines, power rate hike deliberations were still ongoing at the Supreme Court (SC), discussing the validity and legality of the previously-imposed P4.15 per kilowatt-hour rate by Meralco and power generation companies to Filipino households.

Because of the temporary restraining order by the SC, the P4.15 per kwh rate increase was halted.

With the potential revisiting and revision of the Epira law as well as the petition for price increases of power generation companies, the energy price rates in the country can go up which will affect economic factors and sectors, according to economists. KRISTYN NIKA M. LAZO

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