On 15 November 2022, the United Nations estimated that the world’s human population reached 8 billion people. It was only twelve years ago that the planet’s population hit 7 billion. However, the population is growing at its slowest rate since 1950 and is now expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050 and peaking at around 10.4 billion by 2080.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)  has stated that population growth, along with increases in gross domestic product (GDP) are the strongest drivers of global greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels.  A continually increasing human population will also make it more difficult to limit global temperature increases to below 1.5C.

Meanwhile, COP27, the United Nations Climate Conference is taking place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, with world leaders meeting to discuss their plans to ensure that global temperature increases are kept below 1.5C   By the end of this week, we will know if any significant progress has been made, but so far, many of the negotiations are reported to be behind schedule.  There was still no use of the phrases “phase out” or “phase down” of fossil fuels, despite the fact that this is essential for limiting greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

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