The Earth’s population is set to reach 8 billion people today

A ‘milestone in human development’ but also a need for action on climate change and sustainability, says UN

We each are uniquely one-in-eight-billion – at least, that’s according to the United Nations, who has projected that the world’s population will surpass eight billion people on Tuesday (Nov. 15).

Dubbed a “milestone in human development,” the United Nations is also calling for collective action to protect people and the planet.

While it took the global population 12 years to grow from seven to eight billion, it will take approximately 15 years—until 2037— for it to reach nine billion, a sign that the overall growth rate of the global population is slowing in more developed nations.

“The growth of the world’s population has become increasingly concentrated among the world’s poorest countries, exacerbating already entrenched inequalities,” a statement from the UN reads.

“Between now and 2050, almost all of the global increase in numbers of children and youth and of adults under age 65 will occur in low-income and lower-middle-income countries.”

In countries with the highest consumption and emissions rates, such as China, United States and Russia, population is slowing and even decreasing.

Meanwhile, sub-Saharan Africa is facing growth of two-to-three pre cent per year. In Madagascar, nearly 80 per cent of people are living below the international poverty line, according to a United Nations police brief.

An estimated 821 million people are undernourished – many low-income with women and children particularly vulnerable.

“Wealthy countries and the international community should support sustainable development in low-income and lower-middle-income countries by providing the necessary technical and financial assistance so that their economies can grow rapidly using technologies that minimise environmental harms,” the brief continued.

The United Nations is renewing its call to meet objectives in the Paris Agreement, which was adopted in 2015 to address climate change called for global temperatures to rise a maximum of 2 C by the end of the century compared to pre-industrial times, and as close as possible to 1.5 C.

READ MORE: B.C. signs new climate agreement with California, Oregon and Washington

ALSO READ: UN chief warns planet is heading toward ‘climate chaos’


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@blackpress.ca

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