December 02, 2015

Do current debates on climate change consider sufficiently demographic projections?

Sir, I refer to the different opinions expressed in FT on the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris.

IMF, in a Staff Discussion Note of October 2015, “The Fiscal Consequences of Shrinking Populations” writes: “Declining fertility and increasing longevity will lead to a slower-growing, older world population... This, in turn, contributes to a more sustainable pattern of development and reduced pressures on the environment.”

And the World Bank, in its advance of the “Global Monitoring Report 2015/2016: Development Goals in an Era of Demographic Change” mentions: “Demographic trends and related policies will have implications for the global environment and for the effectiveness of adaptation and mitigation strategies. Family planning and reproductive health policies may help mitigate the negative effects of climate change by reducing population growth, especially in pre- and early-dividend countries. Education is not only likely to lower fertility, it can also have a major impact on the effectiveness of measures aimed at tackling the negative effects of climate change…”

And so Sir, it looks clear that if we have an aging world with falling population our economical challenges will increase but our climate change challenges might lessen. And vive versa if we have a world with growing population it might be easier on the economy but climate change challenges might worsen.

Is the current debate on climate change considering sufficiently this relation?

What if in 40 years the world has to explain to its pensioners that there is no money for them, because it was quite unnecessarily spent on problems derived from a climate change scenario that did not include demographic projections? 

@PerKurowski ©