Paris: Braking the rise in Earth’s population would be a major help in the fight against global warming, according to an unprecedented UN report published on Wednesday that draws a link between demographic pressure and climate change.
“Slower population growth... would help build social resilience to climate change’s impacts and would contribute to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the future,” the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) says in its report, the 2009 State of World Population.
Its 104-page document emphasizes that population policies be driven by support for women, access to family planning, reproductive health and other voluntary measures.
“It really is the first time that a United Nations agency has looked hard at the connections between population and climate change,” lead researcher Bob Engelman, vice-president for programmes at the green group Worldwatch Institute, said. “People are at the root of the problem and at the solution of it, and empowerment of women is the key.”
Today, the world’s population stands at around 6.8 billion. By mid-century, it will range between 7.959 billion to 10.461 billion, with a mid-estimate of 9.15 billion, according to UN calculations.