Water-Energy-Food in the Context of Climate Change

Even though the bottom half of South African households spend  30–50% of their income on food, one quarter of South African children aged 0-5 are stunted due to malnutrition. This is just one example of how the interaction of the water, food, and energy systems with the economy and the global environment impact people. They sit at the heart of Southern Africa’s current challenges. To complicate this picture, energy and food production are the dominant sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the region.

This work stream will assess this complicated interacting food, energy, and water system nexus to provide potential solutions to regional challenges and combat climate change. This will mean special attention will be paid to opportunities to solve these crises with green investments and renewable energy sources.

A non-sectoral approach

One of the novel aspects of this work stream is that it engages with other work streams to better align food and agriculture policies with employment and social protection policies. This approach differs from a previous understanding that solutions to energy issues, or water issues, could be applied to single sectors. Solutions are better applied, and more relevant to policymakers, holistically —water, energy, malnutrition, and health and wellbeing are all interconnected issues that also impact job creation, the economy, etc.

Advancements in research

Phase I of this work stream saw the development of SATIM-GE, a linked energy–economy-wide model, for the analysis of energy policies. Phase II will build on this success and develop an integrated agriculture/food/water-CGE model for exploring different policy issues in food and agriculture, land reform, and water conservation. These models will facilitate research that can lead to realistic strategies for policy implementation in a context of climate change.

Working paper
Chuma Innocent Mbaleki
This study employs an autoregressive distributed lag model to investigate the long-run and short-run economic growth impacts of the public service wage bill in South Africa. The annual time series data used ranges from 1983...
May 2021
Climate and energy
Working paper
Bruno Merven, Faaiqa Hartley, Andrew Marquard, Fadiel Ahjum, Jesse Burton, Alison Hughes, Gregory Ireland, Bryce McCall and Jules Schers
The Paris Agreement calls for a reduction in global emissions to limit the global temperature increase in this century to 2oC (above preindustrial levels), while pursuing the means to limit the increase to 1.5oC. This...
May 2021
Climate and energy
Working paper
Joan Halstein
This paper simulates the long-term implications of skilled labour emigration for South Africa, using a recursive dynamic general equilibrium framework. It examines the effects of skilled emigration with or without offsetting measures, specifically the projected...
April 2021
Climate and energy
News
SA-TIED
During the months of April, May, and June, the SA-TIED programme will host six online policy dialogues as part of our SA-TIED Dialogues – Research into Policy series. As phase one of the SA-TIED programme...
March 2021
Enterprise development
Public revenue
Labour market and inequality
Macro-fiscal analysis
Climate and energy
Reform implementation
Working paper
Leonard le Roux and Johanna Choumert-Nkolo
Despite recent progress, energy poverty remains pervasive in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This challenge is generally more severe in rural areas. However, rapid urbanization adds a significant challenge to often under-capacitated urban local authorities that struggle...
February 2021
Climate and energy
Working paper
Faaiqa Hartley, Sherwin Gabriel, James Cullis and Channing Arndt
Climate change poses a serious threat to many countries, particularly to developing countries, which often have large sections of the population without resources to adapt to changes in their environment. One of the key ways...
February 2021
Climate and energy
Working paper
Tatenda Lysias Magodora
The agricultural sector has remained under threat from climate change despite significant efforts to combat this problem. There is evidence of existing climate change impacts on maize production in South Africa. No meta-analysis was done...
October 2020
Climate and energy
Working paper
Bernard Tembo, Sydney Sihubwa, Ignatius Masilokwa, Mulima Nyambe-Mubanga
This study uses an integrated approach to analyse the impacts of climate change on Zambia’s electricity supply and general economy, considering two global climate policy scenarios: Unconstrained emissions (UCE), without effective policies to limit emissions...
September 2020
Climate and energy
Working paper
Lourenço Manuel, Emílio Tostão, Orcidia Vilanculos, Gaby Mandlhate, and Faaiqa Hartley
Mozambique has been historically prone to natural disasters due to its geographical location, but over the past 20 years, the intensity and frequency of droughts, floods and cyclones has increased, negatively affecting the agriculture sector...
September 2020
Climate and energy
Working paper
Bhekani Sandile Zondo
This study evaluates the determinants of adoption and use intensity of organic fertilizer among smallholder potato farmers using primary data collected from 189 smallholder farmers in three municipal areas in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa, using...
September 2020
Climate and energy
Journal article
Channing Arndt, Rob Davies, Sherwin Gabriel, Laurence Harris, Konstantin Makrelov, Sherman Robinson, Stephanie Levy, Witness Simbanegavi, Dirk van Seventer, and Lillian Anderson
Absent vaccines and pharmaceutical interventions, the only tool available to mitigate its demographic effects is some measure of physical distancing, to reduce contagion by breaking social and economic contacts. Policy makers must balance the positive...
July 2020
Climate and energy
In the media
A stringent lockdown in South Africa came into effect on 26 March 2020 and shut down most sectors of the economy. New SA-TIED research on the impact of COVID-19 on the South African economy estimates...
July 2020
Macro-fiscal analysis
Climate and energy
Working paper
Channing Arndt, Rob Davies, Sherwin Gabriel, Laurence Harris, Konstantin Makrelov, Boipuso Modise, Sherman Robinson, Witness Simbanegavi, Dirk van Seventer, and Lillian Anderson
This paper reports ‘first pass’ estimates of the costs of the lock-down implemented by the South African government beginning on 27 March 2020. It also presents a series of recovery scenarios. Four channels by which...
April 2020
Macro-fiscal analysis
Climate and energy