the World population growth and sustainable development The report, launched on Wednesday, is the latest in a series on major demographic trends.
The number of people on the planet has more than tripled since 1950 and could reach almost 11 billion by the end of the century, according to the study, which examines the links between population growth and social, economic and environmental dimensions. of sustainable development.
Rich nations must act
“While population growth amplifies the harmful impact of economic processes on the environment, the increase in per capita income has been more important than population growth in driving increased production, consumption and emissions of gases. greenhouse,” the authors said.
“Wealthier countries bear the greatest responsibility to act quickly to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and to implement strategies to decouple human economic activity from environmental degradation.”
Other key findings include that most of the world’s future population growth will take place in developing countries.
Success and failure
Populations are growing rapidly because people are living longer, thanks to improvements in public health, nutrition, personal hygiene, and medicine.
The authors described it as “one of the greatest success stories of social and economic development”.
However, rapid population growth also represents the inability to ensure that all people have the knowledge, ability and means to determine if and when they want to have children.
Similarly, access to reproductive health care, especially for women, can accelerate social and economic development and help disrupt intergenerational cycles of poverty.
‘Window of Opportunity’
Meanwhile, countries with relatively high levels of fertility could invest in education and health, as well as promote full employment for all.
A resulting decline in fertility could create a “window of opportunity” for accelerated economic growth.
Other findings reveal how developing countries will need help to reduce future emissions as their economies grow, as well as the necessary technical and financial assistance.
Food systems will also need to become more sustainable to both meet growing needs and limit environmental damage.