In 2050, the countries bordering the Mediterranean will have almost 700 million inhabitants, three and a half times more than in 1950, and the demographic center of gravity, once firmly planted on the northern shore, will be very far from Europe, moved towards the south -East. It will be “a revolution within the revolution” with important consequences in relation to climate change, as observed by Massimo Livi Bacci, demographer of the University of Florence and academic of the Lincei. He does it on the occasion of the conference “The Mediterranean system: a hotspot for climate change and adaptation”, promoted by the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei on the occasion of the XXII World Water Day.
“According to the most up-to-date projections of the United Nations, in the countries of the northern shore of the Mediterranean, from Spain to Greece, population growth will be weak, equal to about a third, while in the rest of the region it will be extremely vigorous. In fact, the countries on the shore south, from Egypt to Morocco, and those on the east bank, from Turkey to Israel, will multiply their population by five”, says Livi Bacci.
The demographic increase will be concentrated above all in the coastal strips, “including those with very low elevation compared to sea level, much more vulnerable as a result of the rising sea waters and the intensification of extreme climatic events due to climate change”, observes the ‘expert. The increase in population along the coast will have inevitable consequences for the fragile environmental balance. “In addition to an intensification of maritime traffic, we can expect a greater consumption of energy and a greater production of greenhouse gases and waste by coastal cities”, underlines Livi Bacci. “However, this strong environmental pressure can be controlled: it is up to us to implement increasingly targeted and effective policies”.
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