Friday, July 13, 2007

Population Report: Adopt Voluntary Two-Child Limit

UK needs a two-child limit, says population report

Families should restrict themselves to having a maximum of two children to stabilise the effect on the environment of Britain's rapidly growing population, a thinktank warns today. According to the Optimum Population Trust, Britain's rising birth rate, currently growing at the highest rate for nearly 30 years, should be considered an environmental liability.

It calls on the government to introduce a "stop at two children" or "have one child less" guideline and to review incentives that may lead some teenage girls to become pregnant.

"A voluntary stop-at-two guideline should be adopted for couples in the UK who want to adopt greener lifestyles. It would aim to set an example," it says.
. . .

Unless action is taken the UK population will grow by a further 10 million by 2074, says the report.
. . .
"UK population has grown by 20% since 1950 - in less than a lifetime. There are more than 60 million people now living in the UK, one of the most densely populated countries in the world, and our numbers are rising faster than ever before.
. . .
Voluntary population stabilisation programmes have a proven record of success, says Prof Guillebaud. "A voluntary 'two-child' population policy in Iran, for example, succeeded in halving fertility in eight years, as fast a rate of decrease as that of China, whose much-criticised one-child policy began in 1980."
. . .
A mix of high population and rising consumption means that humanity is currently outstripping the biological capacity of the Earth by 25% a year. By 2050, when global population is projected at 9.2 billion - 2.5 billion rise - humans will be using the biocapacity of two earths.

The report suggests compulsory limits on births may become unavoidable in as more pressure is put on world resources.

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