Event — Genève, Switzerland

"4th Nexus Forum" on Climate-Energy Security Nexus: Water and Energy


The IEA  in partnership with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) hosted the 4th Forum on the Climate and Energy Security Nexus, focusing on the Water and Power Sector. The Forum was held in Geneva at the Maison de la Paix. The Forum explored impacts of climate change on the water-energy equation and discussed the way forward on how the energy sector could enhance its resilience to climate change.

Recognising the impacts of climate change on water and the important role water plays in energy supply, the IEA and the WBCSD organised this meeting to advance the understanding of these issues and their policy implications. The purpose was to facilitate a dialogue among businesses and policy makers on how to jointly build the resilience of the energy sector to climate-induced water stresses. In this context, the forum :

  • discussed impacts of climate-induced water stresses on the energy systems 
  • illustrated examples of business practices in dealing with some of the impacts 
  • identified needs and opportunities for policy interventions and  
  • identified possibilities for integrating energy and climate models to improve national and global forecasts for the energy sector.

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Welcome and opening remarks

  • Peter WHITE, Chief Operating Officer, WBCSD
  • Didier HOUSSIN, Director,  Sustainable Energy Policy and Technology, IEA


1. How climate change-induced water stress affects the energy sector

Review the role of water in various energy sector activities (including thermal power generation; hydropower generation; oil and gas exploration; and supporting feedstocks for bioenergy), and how climate change will affect water.

Moderator:    Takashi HATTORI, Head of the Environment and Climate Change Unit, IEA


Discussion questions:

  • What are the water stresses that climate change will intensify?
  • What is the role of water in fossil fuel power production? What are the current and expected impacts from climate-induced water stresses?  How does the water issue affect CCS?
  • What are the expected impacts of climate change in hydropower production (by region)?
  • How will climate induced water stresses (including permafrost melting, sea level rise, and water shortages and flooding) affect oil and gas exploration (onshore and offshore), refineries and LNG plants?
  • What are the expected impacts from water stresses on feedstock for bioenergy?



2. Making the Power System More Resilient to Climate Change-Induced Water Stresses

This session will explore responses being taken by the power sector to build resilience to climate change-induced water stresses and other water events and to develop strategies to cope with gradual long term climate change-induced impacts, as well as options for policy responses. It will also explore the costs that such measures may imply and their impact on energy sector business models of the future.

Moderator: Philippe JOUBERT, Senior Advisor, WBCSD


  • Anne BOLLE, Head of Climate Policies, Statkraft
  • Andrea VALCADA, Head of Environmental Policies and Climate Change, ENEL Spa
  • Niels VLAANDEREN, Senior Policy Advisor, Directorate General for Spatial Development and Water Affairs, the Netherlands (excused)

Discussion Questions:

  • Greater water scarcity and power production: policy responses, company-level best practices and associated costs. Including, changes in average winter and summer temperatures – impacts on energy demand and supply: policy responses, company-level best practices
  • Sea level rise and coastal power plants and transmission lines: policy responses, company-level best practices.
  • Extreme events – droughts and power plants (responses to changes in energy demand and also own operation in extreme conditions): policy responses, company-level best practices
  • Extreme events – storms (snow fall, wind) and power plants, including transmission lines: policy responses, company-level best practices
  • Estimates of costs of impacts from climate-induced water stresses for the energy sector (national and company level) and estimates of costs of adaptation measures (national and/or company)
13:30 - 15:00

3. Modelling challenges in understanding the climate change/water/energy nexus: how can climate modelling help decision makers? Where are the current gaps/barriers in downscaling global climate models to regional/local levels? What are the opportunities for climate and energy models integration?

This session will consider the need to harness existing climate information and channel it to better inform both policy decision makers and the business community. Discussion will focus on the opportunities for developing climate models and energy models to work better together as well as how regional information can be extrapolated to support locally adapted responses.

Moderator: Bruce STEWART, Director Climate and Water, World Meteorological Organisation


  • Marco BRAUN, Hydroclimatology Specialist, Ouranos Consortium
  • Nadia MAÏZI, Director, Centre de Mathématiques Appliqués, MINES Paris Tech
  • Betty OTTO, Director, Water Initiative, World Resources Institute
  • Christian PLÜSS, Managing Director Hydro Power Generation, Alpiq

Discussion questions:

  • What parameters in climate models can be used by policy makers and company decision makers, how can they be communicated better?
  • Can climate change parameters be integrated into energy models on both, supply and demand sides?

-   What are these parameters?

-   At what scale can they be integrated?

-   Which of them would determine restrictions/limitations in power production scenarios building (e.g., water scarcity in certain areas as a restriction to new-build fossil power capacity)?

-   Which ones would determine the change in energy demand?

    • Residential sector heating and cooling demand
    • Electricity for water pumping in agriculture
    • Cooling and heating in industrial sectors
    • Transport sector: fuel and/or electricity for cooling and heating
  • What are the next steps in integrating climate and energy models?

15:00 -16:00

 Breakout discussion: 4 breakout groups to discuss:

  • How to link energy modelling with water and water/climate and at what level does it make sense (global, regional, local)?
  •  How to improve the communication of climate science to businesses and policy-makers?
  • What is the business case for disaster risk reduction and gradual adaptation, and how should we coordinate action?
  • With the expected competing demands for water from different sectors, how can modelling and/or policy interventions help make long term planning decisions?

In each of the breakout groups, representatives from scientific community, businesses and government, will structure their discussion around the following three pillars:

  • What are the gaps?
  • What is the role of business?
  • How can public policies and government action contribute?


4. Discussion and next steps

The final session will investigate potential partnerships that could support an enhanced response to the current gaps in knowledge and to the current action needs, and chart a course for future work. The discussion will focus on identifying the next steps in building the energy sector resilience to climate-induced water stresses, including policy responses; best practices development and sharing, as well as modelling support.

  • 5 min reports from each of the 4 breakout groups.
  • 10 min presentations of each of the panellists.

Moderator:    Joppe CRAMWINCKEL, Director Water, WCBSD


  • Claude NAHON, Senior VP, Sustainable Development, EDF Group
  • Mats ERIKSSON, Director, Climate Change and Water, Knowledge Services, Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)
  • Jeremiah LENGOASA, Deputy Secretary General, World Meteorological Organisation
  • Craig ZAMUDA, Department of Energy, United States Government

Discussion questions :

  • What policy responses need to be developed to assist the energy sector with building its resilience to climate-induced water stresses? What are the critical parameters in the regulation of the energy sector that need to be adjusted as climate changes?
  • Who pays and who benefits from investments in building resilience in the energy sector?
  • What institutional links and coordination need to be established to assist the energy sector in building resilience to climate-induced water stresses?
  • How can we increase sharing best practices in building resilience to climate change impacts in the power sector? What kind of mutual aid organizations can be created to assist energy companies in the case of extreme events?

17:30 -17:45

Closing remarks

  • Philippe JOUBERT, Senior Advisor, WBCSD
  • Didier HOUSSIN, Director,  Sustainable Energy Policy and Technology, IEA