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The potential impact of Brexit on the energy, water and food nexus in the UK: a fuzzy cognitive mapping approach

Ziv, Guy; Watson, Elizabeth; Young, Dylan; Howard, David C.; Larcom, Shaun T.; Tanentzap, Andrew J.. 2018 The potential impact of Brexit on the energy, water and food nexus in the UK: a fuzzy cognitive mapping approach. Applied Energy, 210. 487-498. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2017.08.033

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Abstract/Summary

Energy is one of the cornerstones essential for human life, along with other services such as water and food. Understanding how the different services in the energy-water-food (EWF) nexus interact and are perceived by different actors is key to achieving sustainability. In this paper, we derive a model of the EWF nexus using fuzzy cognitive mapping (FCM). Data were collected in a two-step approach from workshops with researchers and stakeholders involved in the three focal sectors. Four FCMs were developed; one for each of the EWF sectors, and one for the interactions that create the nexus between EWF. The FCM represents the combined views of the groups who participated in the workshops, the importance and limitations of which is discussed. To demonstrate its effectiveness, the aggregated FCM was applied to predict the impacts on the EWF nexus of four scenarios under which the United Kingdom would depart from the European Union (i.e. Brexit). The FCM indicated that energy-related concepts had the largest influence on the EWF nexus and that EWF demand will decrease most under a ‘hard-Brexit’ scenario. The demand for energy was shown to decline relatively less than other services and was strongly associated with gross domestic product (GDP), whereas UK population size had a stronger effect on water and food demand. Overall, we found a threefold change across all concepts in scenarios without freedom of movement, contribution to the EU budget, and increased policy devolution to the UK.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2017.08.033
CEH Sections/Science Areas: CEH Fellows
ISSN: 0306-2619
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: UK referendum, system modelling, fuzzy cognitive map, scenario analysis
Date made live: 26 Oct 2017 15:52 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/518130

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