The resource security megatrend captures the increasing pressure on environmental resources, including food, water, energy, mineral resources.
By 2050 it is estimated that we will need to produce 70 percent more food for a growing population with growing demands. In a little more than a decade, demand for water will increase by 40 percent and for energy by 50 percent of current global use.
Demand for energy, food and water will only intensify. In 2015 the World Economic Forum identified water crises as the most significant global threat. At the same time, the impacts of human induced climate change may be rapid and unpredictable.
Resource security also goes beyond the critical water, food, energy and climate nexus.
Many rare metals we have never or seldom used before have become indispensable for sustainable clean energy, computers and mobile devices. We need over 60 such critical materials for wind and solar fuel generation, lighting, making batteries, to build electric and hybrid cars, smartphones and tablets.
Increasing demand and the rare nature of many of these materials can lead to critical shortfalls and put severe limitations on renewable energy technologies.
The challenges raised by this megatrend can be tackled through innovation, new solutions and new industries as well as initiatives such as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. We must dare to imagine radically new solutions for a radically different future.