Noting the equivalent of doubling the population of China and India, the world’s population is anticipated to grow by 2.5 billion in just over the next thirty years.
There would be considerable strain on world business that would be put on it in addition to an unprecedented demand for goods and services created by the growing global population, according to a report published by the World Resources Institute.
And set to expand by 3 billion people (ten times the population of the United States) in the next twenty years, is the global middle class which would largely drive the pressure and demand on goods and services.
With reference to meeting future demand and remaining within the planet’s environmental limits, analysts are branding current business models as being ‘too resource-intensive and wasteful’. Business would not last for long if they can’t limit their resource consumption.
By way of joining the RE100, a collaborative initiative committed to renewable energy, some of the world’s biggest companies such as Apple and General Motors have responded to the future crisis.
However, despite such efforts, economic and human security would be at risk if the current level of environmental degradation continues.
By the end of the 21st century, the African continent will make up about 36 percent of the world’s total population because of the fact that it is facing a very dramatic surge in its populace. This population boom will have an acute negative impact on the region’s food and water security, believes Western NGOs and governments.
However, arguments that the concerns of Europe and the United States are borne out of a desire to preserve those resources for their own people instead and that Africa does have the resources to sustain its 2 billion people, are put up by activists opposing the arguments put forward by Western NGOs and governments.
But a fast population growth will also create a young workforce that would potentially drive economic growth and this is the solution that Africa needs and it’s called a demographic dividend.
But many experts also say that there is a need to start creating both a circular economy, where materials are reused rather than wasted, in addition to a sharing economy in both the regions of Europe and the US, who consumed 80 percent of the world’s total available resources at the turn of the century.
And likely to be at the top of world leaders’ agendas very soon are issues related to natural resource consumption and population growth especially with big business seemingly under threat in the near future.
(Adapted from CNBC)