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Population dynamics and climate change: what are the links?

Population dynamics and climate change: what are the links? Climate change has been described as the biggest global health threat of the 21st century. World population is projected to reach 9.1 billion by 2050, with most of this growth in developing countries. While the principal cause of climate change is high consumption in the developed countries, its impact will be greatest on people in the developing world. Climate change and population can be linked through adaptation (reducing vulnerability to the adverse effects of climate change) and, more controversially, through mitigation (reducing the greenhouse gases that cause climate change). The contribution of low-income, high-fertility countries to global carbon emissions has been negligible to date, but is increasing with the economic development that they need to reduce poverty. Rapid population growth endangers human development, provision of basic services and poverty eradication and weakens the capacity of poor communities to adapt to climate change. Significant mass migration is likely to occur in response to climate change and should be regarded as a legitimate response to the effects of climate change. Linking population dynamics with climate change is a sensitive issue, but family planning programmes that respect and protect human rights can bring a remarkable range of benefits. Population dynamics have not been integrated systematically into climate change science. The contribution of population growth, migration, urbanization, ageing and household composition to mitigation and adaptation programmes needs urgent investigation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Public Health Oxford University Press

Population dynamics and climate change: what are the links?

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References (23)

Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
The Author 2010, Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Faculty of Public Health. All rights reserved
Subject
Perspectives
ISSN
1741-3842
eISSN
1741-3850
DOI
10.1093/pubmed/fdq038
pmid
20501867
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Climate change has been described as the biggest global health threat of the 21st century. World population is projected to reach 9.1 billion by 2050, with most of this growth in developing countries. While the principal cause of climate change is high consumption in the developed countries, its impact will be greatest on people in the developing world. Climate change and population can be linked through adaptation (reducing vulnerability to the adverse effects of climate change) and, more controversially, through mitigation (reducing the greenhouse gases that cause climate change). The contribution of low-income, high-fertility countries to global carbon emissions has been negligible to date, but is increasing with the economic development that they need to reduce poverty. Rapid population growth endangers human development, provision of basic services and poverty eradication and weakens the capacity of poor communities to adapt to climate change. Significant mass migration is likely to occur in response to climate change and should be regarded as a legitimate response to the effects of climate change. Linking population dynamics with climate change is a sensitive issue, but family planning programmes that respect and protect human rights can bring a remarkable range of benefits. Population dynamics have not been integrated systematically into climate change science. The contribution of population growth, migration, urbanization, ageing and household composition to mitigation and adaptation programmes needs urgent investigation.

Journal

Journal of Public HealthOxford University Press

Published: Jun 1, 2010

Keywords: environment

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