News

Dr David Knight gave a joint University/WinACC lecture in the ‘Is it the answer?’ series on climate change on 24 March 2014. He focussed on the relationship between climate change, population growth and economic growth, and what this means for interventions to reduce the human impact on our climate.

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The size of the global human population is clearly an important driver of climate change both through our use of energy, which is principally generated by burning fossil fuels, and deforestation, driven for example by a trend away from staple foods to meat eating.  However, gross domestic product (GDP) is also closely correlated with energy use and over the last 40 years increases in the scale

The size of the global human population is clearly an important driver of climate change both through our use of energy, which is principally generated by burning fossil fuels, and deforestation, driven by a trend away from staple foods. However, increases in the GDP of the world economy can be shown to have been an even bigger factor in the growth in greenhouse gas emissions than population growth. The growth in both GDP and global population need to be reined back.

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National and global issues, and campaigns you might want to support. WinACC can't keep up-to-date with all that's happening - if you want to keep abreast of national and global politics on climate change, there are many websites and twitter accounts such as Climate Home, or the Friends of the Earth policy blog

Population

New multi-scenario modelling of world human population has concluded that even stringent fertility restrictions or a catastrophic mass mortality would not bring about large enough change this century to solve issues of global sustainability.

Models of future climate scenarios have taken insufficient account of population patterns and trends, according to a UCL review to be published in the print edition of The Lancet in November 2013.

This briefing provides a brief analysis of global population trends, together with consumption trends, and makes a number of recommendations.