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Integrated analysis of climate change, land-use, energy and water strategies


Land, energy and water are our most precious resources, but the manner and extent to which they are exploited contributes to climate change. Meanwhile, the systems that provide these resources are themselves highly vulnerable to changes in climate. Efficient resource management is therefore of great importance, both for mitigation and for adaptation purposes. We postulate that the lack of integration in resource assessments and policy-making leads to inconsistent strategies and inefficient use of resources. We present CLEWs (climate, land-use, energy and water strategies), a new paradigm for resource assessments that we believe can help to remedy some of these shortcomings.

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Figure 1: The CLEWS framework.
Figure 2: The impact of transforming two sugar-processing plants to produce second-generation ethanol in Mauritius (projections for 2030).
Figure 3: Changes in overall water withdrawals for selected integrated CLEW scenarios in Mauritius.
Figure 4: Predicted impact of climate change on water availability in Mauritius, water-related energy consumption and GHG emissions (predictions for 2030).


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We thank D. le Blanc (UNDESA) for insight and encouragement in problems that fall outside the scope of traditional planning approaches, and for his input to discussions and fora; Ø. Vessia (EC) for work on precursor efforts to this work; M. Radka (UNEP); L. Langlois (independent consultant); and O. Broad (KTH). The views and perspectives expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the UN, associated UN Agencies or their senior management.

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Authors and Affiliations



The experiments were conceived and designed by M.H., S.H. and H.R. The entire endeavour was overseen by M.H. The modelling experiments themselves (focusing on integration) were undertaken by M.H., M.W., S.H., C.Y. and G.F. Data analysis, and meta-data creation, were undertaken by S.H., M.W., T.A., C.Y. and G.F. Material and analysis tools were provided by C.Y. who developed the Mauritius WEAP model with S.H. M.W. developed the Mauritius LEAP model. G.F., H.V. and D.W. developed and advanced the AEZ model generally and specifically applied it to the case of Mauritius. A.M. and P.S. provided methodologies that were used to analyse crop–water–land interrelations. I.R. collected great volumes of base data needed to calibrate the models. R.R. provided an analysis of the tools and gaps in the integrated assessment space. M.H., H.R., T.A., D.G., M.B., R.R., P.S. and R.S. drafted sections of the paper.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Mark Howells or Sebastian Hermann.

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1. The CLEWs Framework and scenarios for Mauritius (PDF 724 kb)

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Howells, M., Hermann, S., Welsch, M. et al. Integrated analysis of climate change, land-use, energy and water strategies. Nature Clim Change 3, 621–626 (2013).

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