World population to hit 8 billion as fears grow over impact of climate catastrophes

Access to the comments Comments
By Euronews  with AP
People in India wearing face masks as a precaution against the COVID-19, crowd a market, in Mumbai, India.
People in India wearing face masks as a precaution against the COVID-19, crowd a market, in Mumbai, India.   -   Copyright  AP

The United Nations has estimated that the world’s population will reach 8 billion on 15 November and India will replace China as the world’s most populous nation next year.

In a report released on World Population Day, the UN also said global population growth fell below 1% in 2020 for the first time since 1950.

According to the latest UN projections, the world’s population could grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030. That number will jump to 9.7 billion in 2050. And it will peak at around 10.4 billion during the 2080s. It is forecast to remain at that level until 2100.

The report says more than half the projected increase in population up to 2050 will be concentrated in just eight countries: Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines and Tanzania.

As the population grows, so do worries about the impact of climate change. 

In the coming years, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predict that about 3% of the world's population will be displaced by climate change by 2050.

But despite the world's growing population, greenhouse gas emissions are linked more to income levels than population distribution, according to Raya Muttarak, a Professor of Demography at the University of Bologna. 

“The top 10%, in terms of net wealth, is actually responsible for about 50% of the greenhouse gas emissions. And they only account for 770 million persons in the world.

“Whereas the bottom 50%, which roughly accounts for 4 billion people in the world, only emit 12%." 

Less developed countries face a deadly cocktail of limited resources, financial capacities and a greater risk of climate catastrophe.

Muttarak added that more developed nations must provide the help and resources needed to cope with the consequences of climate change.