Academics and world leaders are calling for decisive action on population and consumption. The world’s 105 science academies representing countries as diverse as South Africa, Latvia, Japan, Nicaragua, Bolivia, the UK and New Zealand, have come together through IAP (the global network of science academies) ahead of the Rio+20 Earth summit later this month.
Chairing the IAP working group is Professor Charles Godfray from the Oxford Martin School who stressed the need for urgent and coordinated international action to address two of the most profound challenges to humanity – population and consumption.
The academics’ statement highlights that current patterns of consumption, especially in high-income countries, are eroding the planet’s natural capital at rates that are severely damaging the interests of future generations, and should consequently and urgently be reduced. It also highlights that, if the right conditions are in place, reducing rapid population growth can stimulate and facilitate economic development, improve health and living standards, and increase political and social stability and security. The statement emphasises the relevance of population and consumption to the future of both developed and developing countries.
> Charles Godfray on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme (47.17 on the clock)
> Report in The Guardian: Rio+20 Earth summit: scientists call for action on population
> Royal Society press release