Water, food, energy, climate: Smart solutions for 2050

Intelligence Squared

Mon, Mar 31 2014

The world’s population is exploding at a rate of 80 million a year. With all those mouths to feed we’re going to need a lot more food – and water and energy too. Growing food uses up 70% of the world’s freshwater, which requires pumping to our taps / pumping to where it’s needed, which in turn requires vast amounts of energy, which in turn affects the climate. Water, energy, food, climate: everything is connected.

In this next Intelligence Squared event in partnership with Shell an expert panel will discuss the the interconnected relationships between these vital resources both globally and in the UK. What do we need to do to avert food riots, water wars and energy crises when the world’s population hits 9 billion in 2050?

Will it be bye bye burgers as we all become vegans? Are GM crops an insidious threat or will they play a major role in food and energy supplies? Are local produce and organic food just a self-indulgent lifestyle choice, when what we need is mass, sustainable intensification of agriculture? What are the alternative energy sources that best repay the high energy costs of their creation? What about biofuels? Will the next generation take off?

Join Intelligence Squared to help evaluate which ideas should get the green light to ensure a secure and stable future for the world.


Mark Lynas - Author and environmental campaigner.

Jay Rayner - Award-winning writer, journalist and broadcaster.

Dr Gabrielle Walker - Writer and broadcaster specialising in energy and climate change.

Dr Jeremy Woods - Expert in bioenergy and biorenewables at Imperial College London.


Matthew Taylor - Chief Executive of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).

Royal Institution of Great Britain