Fewer kids will cool the planet

The subject of limiting population growth is taboo amongst both environment groups and politicians at present – it brings with it thoughts of social control, the one child policy and Big Brother.

But this topic will have to be tackled soon as part of the climate debate. The Optimum Population Trust says that the lifetime emissions of the predicted population increase could far outweigh any energy-saving measures we adopt now. It has estimated that the lifetime CO2 emissions for each person in the UK is nearly 750 tonnes-equal to 620 return flights between London and New York. The extra CO2 produced by every new person has to be accounted for, making real reductions quite difficult unless we also look at population growth.

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