This week the global population reached 8 billion, a figure approaching three times what it was in 1960 when the global population reached 3 billion.
These total global emission and population figures imply an increase in average per capita emissions of 32%, a figure significantly smaller than the global surge in population of 167%.
The UN expects the global population to reach 10.4 billion by 2080 (medium fertility scenario). This would mean that between now and 2080, average per capita emissions would need to fall by 23% to keep total global annual emissions at their current level.
To bring total emissions back to where they were in 1960 by 2080 would require average global per capita emissions to be cut by 81%.
For those working to reduce emissions, population growth represents a significant headwind.
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