Nargis, born in 2011, was named the world’s seven billionth person by Plan International
Restricting population growth will not solve global issues of sustainability in the short term, new research says.
A worldwide one-child policy would mean the number of people in 2100 remained around current levels, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Even a catastrophic event that killed billions of people would have little effect on the overall impact, it said.
There may be 12 billion humans on Earth by 2100, latest projections suggest.
Concerns about the impact of people on the planet’s resources have been growing, especially if the population continues to increase.
‘Can’t stop it’
The authors of this new study said roughly 14% of all the people who ever existed were alive today.
These growing numbers mean a greater impact on the environment than ever, with worries about the conversion of forests for agriculture, the rise of urbanisation, the pressure on species, pollution, and climate change.
“Even if we had a third world war in the middle of this century, you would barely make a dent in the trajectory over the next 100 years” Prof Corey Bradshaw University of Adelaide
The picture is complicated by the fact that while the overall figures have been growing, the world’s per-capita fertility has been declining for several decades.