Rapid population growth in the developing world does not significantly contribute to rising greenhouse gas emissions and focusing on the population explosion in poor countries diverts attention from the far more serious issue of over-consumption in rich countries, according to a new study.
The study, conducted by the International Institute for Environment and Development, analyzed population growth and CO2 emissions from 1980 to 2005 and concluded that rising populations in sub-Saharan Africa and other poor regions have had a negligible impact on global warming.
The study said that although sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 18.5 percent of world population growth, it had only 2.4 percent of the growth in C02 emissions. Overall, low-income nations accounted for 52 percent of population growth and 13 percent of growth in emissions, while high-income nations accounted for just 7 percent of population growth but 29 percent of emissions growth.
The study, published in the journal Environment and Urbanization, said that a child born in the U.S. or Europe will contribute thousands of times more CO2 emissions than a poor child in Africa.
World population is now 6.8 billion and is expected to rise to 9 billion this century.
Appearing courtesy of Yale Environment 360.
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