Experts have been searching for ways to mitigate the impacts of climate change on resources since the early 20th century. In response, the World Economic Forum introduced the concept of a “nexus”, which involves the simultaneous, systematic collaboration of multiple individuals or sectors, such as water, energy, and food, in order to create an integrated approach to reducing resource scarcity through a multi-disciplinary framework. In contrast, a circular economy (CE) involves restructuring material flows from a linear economic system and closing the loop on resource exploitation. Both the nexus and CE have been developed to address the overexploitation of resources, but they also contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and decouple carbon emissions from economic growth. This study explores the potential of combining the nexus and CE to pursue the SDGs on a global scale. Our findings reveal significant research gaps and policy implementation challenges in developing countries, as well as the potential consequences of adopting integrative scenarios. Finally, we propose a system dynamics model as a way to address the difficulties of coupling policies and to better understand the interdependencies between different parts of the economy.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM) in conducting this research.
© 2023 by the authors.
- carbon emissions
- circular economy
- renewable energy
- sustainable development
- system dynamics
- water energy footprint
- water–energy–food nexus
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science (miscellaneous)
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Hardware and Architecture
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
- Computer Networks and Communications
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment