On 11 July 1987, the Earth’s population exceeded 5 billion for the first time, according to the United Nations. Two years later, in 1989, the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) decided to declare the international World Population Day on that date in order to raise awareness of the challenges of a growing world population. A few days ago, this day marked its 30th anniversary.
Currently, the world population is estimated at about 7.7 billion people, a figure that the UN predicts will grow to nearly 10 billion by 2050. But how is a world shaped in which the population doubles within a little more than 40 years? How can we live sustainably within the planetary boundaries without destroying the basis of life of future generations? If all people worldwide were currently pursuing the same lifestyle as we do in Germany, we would already need 3 earths to be able to live sustainably – and the trend is rising. On average, the German lifestyle currently consumes about 30 tons of natural resources per year, but based on population trends up to the year 2050, only 8 tons are tolerable worldwide to enable all people in the world to live a dignified and sustainable life. Technological innovations alone will not be able to achieve this goal, but first and foremost a new understanding of prosperity and essential changes in one’s own lifestyle are needed. The Sustainable Lifestyle Accelerator gives answers to the question of what measures can be taken to achieve this and what a sustainable lifestyle in the sense of an 8-ton society could look like.
* Photo: Free-Photos auf Pixabay