Population growth must stop, say OPT
December 18th 2003
The Optimum Population Trust expressed concern at the mid-2002 population projections published on 18 December 2003 by the Government Actuary’s Department.
“Once again UK population growth projections have been revised upwards,” said Rosamund McDougall, Co-chair of the Optimum Population Trust. “UK population is now projected to grow by another 5.6 million within 30 years. Everyone can see the damage already being done to our economy and environment by record population growth, with its relentless pressure for development across a finite amount of land. It is time the government came clean to voters about its attitude towards continuous population growth, so that they can choose which party has the best population policy at the next election”
Notes for editors:
The Optimum Population Trust is an environmental organisation whose concern is with the impact of population growth on the environment, both internationally and nationally. OPT’s position is based primarily on climate change, energy requirements, impacts on biodiversity and other environmental factors. With world population increasing by 77 million a year, OPT believes that every country should formulate its population policy. For the UK we recommend a stabilisation and gradual reduction in UK population from today’s 59 million, over five or six generations, with an initial aim of reaching 52 million by 2050, then 30 million before 2130 if there has not been successful development of safe low-carbon energy. This could be achieved, given current sub-replacement fertility and Principal Projection 2000-based base population and life expectancy assumptions, without coercion on family size. Migration would need to be brought into a genuine zero net effect balance that would have no effect on population growth. See OPT Population Policy Projection A on this website.
A recently published report of the United Nations Population Division (World Population in 2300) points out that if current fertility rates were maintained as constant fertility, world population would reach 133,591 billion by 2300. Current fertility is impossible to maintain, therefore, and accepting the ageing of populations is unavoidable (UNPD, December 2003).
Professor John Guillebaud or Rosamund McDougall, Co-Chairs, Optimum Population Trust
Tel: 07976-370 221
Professor John Guillebaud (Co-chair)
Tel: 020-7530 3640 or 07779-180 188
Rosamund McDougall (Co-chair)
Tel: 07976-370 221
Andrew Ferguson (Research Coordinator)
Tel: 01491-574 850