Region Forward Blog

Global Fridays: RF targets and the World

Oct 29, 2010


Urbanization and rapid global population growth are two trends that are set to dramatically alter society and the planet we live on. Most projections indicate a rise in the world’s population from about 6.8 billion people today to 9 billion or more by 2050. At the same time more and more of these billions – primarily in developing countries – are moving to cities in droves in search of jobs. A recent article at the BBC notes the substantially negative impacts the combination of these two trends could have on the climate.

With rapid population growth largely inevitable how that growth takes place becomes the dominant factor. The BBC article also notes the well-known fact that urban households generally produce less greenhouse gas emissions per capita than rural or suburban households. The adoption of smart growth policies in countries with rapidly growing (and increasingly wealthy) populations before most of this growth takes place can help mitigate its impacts.

An additional interesting point raised by the article is the simultaneous rapid aging of much of the population in developed countries (and notably in China as well) and the large emissions reductions that can be expected to accompany the aging of these countries’ populations.

Back to news

Related News

  • News

    Locals in metropolitan Washington plan for a sustainable future

    December 16, 2016

    Local planners gathered at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) for a Sustainability in Comprehensive Plans Workshop on December 5 to share...

  • News

    Council of Governments honors region's climate and energy leaders

    November 10, 2016

    COG presented Climate and Energy Leadership Awards to the District of Columbia, Fairfax County Public Schools, the District of Columbia’s Sustainable Energy...