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Tackling population growth is key to fighting climate change

With the global population set to reach 8 billion people next week, Robin Maynard argues that investment in family planning, gender equality and education would have a profound positive impact on the planet

Environment | Comment 9 November 2022

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Michelle D’urbano

AS THE world desperately looks to COP27 for solutions to the climate crisis, on 15 November – in the very midst of the conference – the UN will symbolically mark the point when our global population reaches 8 billion people. The timing may be a coincidence, but the two are undeniably connected.

Earlier this year, a key report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change unequivocally stated:“Globally, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita and population growth remained the strongest drivers of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion in the last decade.” Unsurprisingly, then, a major study into climate …