Recent years have shown increased awareness that the use of the basic resources water, food, and energy are highly interconnected (referred to as a ‘nexus’). Spatial scales are an important but complicating factor in nexus analyses, and should receive more attention – especially in the policy-oriented literature. In this paper, we ‘unpack' the nexus concept, aiming to understand the differences between water, food and energy resources, especially in terms of spatial scales.

Food retailers and manufacturers are increasingly committing to address agricultural sustainability issues in their supply chains. In place of using established eco-certifications, many companies define their own supply chain sustainability standards. Scholars remain divided on whether we should expect such company-led programs to affect change. We use a major food retailer as a critical case to evaluate the effectiveness of a companyled supply chain standard in improving environmental farm management practices.

This paper investigates the adoption of discourses on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) across different national contexts. It draws on institutional theories to develop and test a number of hypotheses on the role of shared beliefs and politico-economic institutions in determining the discursive choices of policy actors. The results show that win–win ecological modernization discourse, embraced by powerful government agencies and international actors, dominates national REDD+ policy arenas.

Urban growth is increasing the demand for freshwater resources, yet surprisingly the water sources of the world’s large cities have never been globally assessed, hampering efforts to assess the distribution and causes of urban water stress. We conducted the first global survey of the large cities’ water sources, and show that previous global hydrologic models that ignored urban water infrastructure significantly overestimated urban water stress.

Delhi with fast-growing rate of urbanisation is the second most water-stressed cities in the world according to this new research published in Global Environmental Change Journal which has mapped 500 large cities to determine how global urbanisation is affecting water supplies. Kolkata (6), Chennai (18), Bangalore (19) and Hyderabad (20) are also listed in this first global survey of the large cities’ water sources.

As part of the Copenhagen Accord, Annex I Parties (industrialised countries) and non-Annex I Parties (developing countries) have submitted reduction proposals (pledges) and mitigation actions to the UNFCCC secretariat. Our calculations show that if the current reduction offers of Annex I and non-Annex I countries are fully implemented, global greenhouse gas emissions could amount to 48.6–49.7 GtCO2eq by 2020. Recent literature suggests that the emission level should be between 42 and 46 GtCO2eq by 2020 to maintain a “medium” chance (50–66%) of meeting the 2 °C target.