29 September 2023
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The global population reached a new milestone of eight billion on November 15, according to a projection of the United Nations, with the number of people on earth having doubled in less than 50 years.

That figure is expected to reach 9.7 billion in 2050 and peak at about 10.4 billion during the 2080s amid dwindling growth rates, the World Population Prospects report said.

This comes at a crucial time for the planet as climate change and nature loss caused by human activities – from the food that people eat to the fossil fuels burned for energy – are having an increasingly significant impact on life.

“How will we answer when ‘Baby 8 Billion’ is old enough to ask: what did you do for our world and for our planet when you had the chance?” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at the COP27 climate summit in Egypt.

The UN Environment Programme has warned that “unprecedented” action to cut greenhouse gas emissions will be needed to reach global targets of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures.

Meanwhile, as forests continue to be cleared and oceans polluted, human impacts are destroying nature and biodiversity: wildlife populations have fallen by more than two-thirds since 1970, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

As negotiators discussed nature protection at…

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Abdul Gh Lone