Should we reduce the birth rate to save the planet?

It’s October 2021. In the City, the financial district of central London, a building houses a conference room where around 80 people gather for the annual meeting of Population Matters (PM), a non-profit organization that focuses on world demographics and its impact on the environment. Around 400 national and international guests also participate online. Speakers include professors and researchers from various European countries, as well as experts from African government organizations.

“The newspapers speak of a declining birth rate. They say that with demographic decline, developed countries will suffer from an aging population and a lack of dynamism. We disagree. ” It was with these words that Adair Turner, economist and former chair of the British Government’s Pensions Commission and Climate Change Committee, opened the session, before developing his argument: “As (economic) prosperity increases, women’s education and the choice of whether or not to have children around the world, birth rates are falling. It is inevitable. But where is the problem? It is easier to tackle the problems of climate change if the population is stable or is experiencing a slight downward trend. Pension schemes should also be manageable in the long term, in particular thanks to the longer life expectancy in good health ”.

10.9 billion people in 2100

Many speakers insisted on the need to accept a declining society to combat climate change. PM advocates limiting population growth in order to improve the lives of as many people as possible. Also a way to protect yourself from climate problems.

In a report published in 2019, the United Nations estimates that the world population, therefore around 7.7 billion, could reach 9.7 billion people in 2050 and 10.9 billion in 2100. For PM, breaking free from a society overconsumption and fostering smaller families are effective ways to tackle climate change.

Because things don’t have the same effect everywhere if we take climate issues into consideration. Whereas developed countries, whose carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) per capita are high, they should move to smaller families with fewer children, says PM director Robin Maynard, 63:

“Having a child in the UK is roughly equivalent to having 16 in Niger. Choosing a small family is an effective solution [pour lutter contre les changements climatiques]. “

Social protection at risk

“The rapidly declining birth rate is one of the greatest threats to our civilization. If we have no more children, our civilization will collapse “, alerted by Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, an important American manufacturer of electric vehicles, during an online event organized by the Wall Street newspaper to December 2021. Countries are taking measures to address the decline in birth rates mainly out of fear of its negative effects on the economy.

In the United States, the birth rate was already in progress before the Covid-19 epidemic, but this has accelerated it. According to the National Center for Health Statistics

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Source of the article

Mainichi Shimbun (Tokyo)

Founded in 1872 as Tokyo Nichi Nichi Shimbun, the Mainichi Shimbun is the oldest Japanese newspaper. It took on its current name in 1943 on the occasion of a merger withŌsaka Mainichi Shimbun. Centrist, the “Journal de tous les jours” is the third national newspaper in the country by circulation.

At the beginning of the last century he benefited from the collaboration of prestigious writers such as Ogai Mori or Ryunosuke Akutagawa. the Mainichi for several years he has been experiencing a financial crisis from which he is struggling to get out.

the Mainichi Shimbun it was the first of all major Japanese newspapers to show interest in digital publishing. If, like his Japanese colleagues, he prefers not to offer free access to his print edition, which remains payable online, he sets himself apart from the others by offering, for example, free reading of his editorials until 1999. Or the Asia-no me section (“The eyes of Asia “), which classifies information by country.

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