Support us | Visit us | Contact us
14 June 2012
The world’s 105 science academies – including the Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of science – are today highlighting the global challenges of population and consumption and calling upon world leaders to take decisive action.
Download the statement here.
Fellow of the Royal Society and IAP Working Group Chair, Professor Charles Godfray, said:
“In April the Royal Society produced its own report on population and consumption, People and the Planet, and we are delighted that the world’s science academies have also chosen to come together to highlight two of the most profound challenges to humanity – population and consumption – and to call for urgent and coordinated international action to address them. For too long the dual issues of population and consumption have been left off the table due to political and ethical sensitivities. These are issues that affect us all, developed and developing nations alike, and we must take responsibility for them together. Policymakers have an extraordinary opportunity to seize the initiative at the international summit in Rio and we hope that they will choose to take the sound, evidence-based advice of their own academies of science as they make decisions that will affect the future of the planet.”
Through IAP , the global network of science academies, academies from all over the world, including countries as diverse as South Africa, Latvia, Japan, Nicaragua, Bolivia, the UK and New Zealand, have come together to call for action on population and consumption. The academies’ statement highlights that current patterns of consumption, especially in high-income countries, are eroding the planet’s natural capital at rates that are severely damaging the interests of future generations, and should consequently and urgently be reduced. It also highlights that, if the right conditions are in place, reducing rapid population growth can stimulate and facilitate economic development, improve health and living standards, and increase political and social stability and security. The statement emphasises the relevance of population and consumption to the future of both developed and developing countries and reminds policy makers preparing for Rio+20 of the need to consider the following:
The statement also highlights some key actions that need to be taken, including:
Development of urban planning policies that take into account future consumption and demographic trends.
Learn about our mission to expand the frontiers of knowledge.
Explore our annual science exhibition
Research published in Open Biology today identifies, for the first time, nearly all the genes required for reproduction of a cell in a living organism.
The Government’s spending decisions for the financial year 2015-16 provide an important opportunity to strengthen the role of research and innovation as drivers of UK growth and competitiveness, according to the UK’s four national academies, including the Royal Society.
A paper published in Biology Letters today reveals a new species of ichthyosaur (a dolphin-like marine reptile from the age of dinosaurs) which revolutionises our understanding of their evolution and extinction.
For a full archive please see the news pages.
Latest press releases about our activities.
Announcements about articles in our journals.
There are about 1,450 Fellows and Foreign Members.
We have had 350 years at the heart of scientific progress.
Contact the Society's press team.