Population, environment and sustainable development

Environmental damage often arises from the economic processes that lead to higher standards of living, especially when the full social and environmental costs, such as damage from pollution, are not factored into decisions about resource extraction, production and consumption. Population growth amplifies such environmental pressures by adding to total economic demand. However, the countries contributing most to unsustainable patterns of resource use are generally those where income per capita is high and populations are growing slowly if at all, not those where income per capita is low and populations are growing rapidly. Looking forward, countries that currently have relatively low per capita incomes and high levels of fertility will need to achieve robust and sustained economic growth if they are to meet the Goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Promoting sustained economic growth in such countries without further damaging the environment will require support from the international community.

Sustainable Development Goals:
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