Bob Brown’s comments on population welcomed

18 October 2020

Media Releases 2020

(Media release, 18/10/2020)


Bob Brown’s call for Australia to lead a mature discussion about the need to reduce global population growth has been welcomed by the president of environmental advocacy group Sustainable Population Australia.

Dr Brown’s comments were reported in The Weekend Australian of 17-18 October (“Greens must push cut to population: Brown”).


Picture: Matthew Newton

“Bob Brown is showing leadership on this,” Ms Kanck said. “As a senior statesman of the environment movement, Bob has lived through the more than tripling of the world’s population in his lifetime, from 2.5 billion to 7.8 billion people.”

“The impacts of this on our resource use, and our forests, wildlife, landscapes and cities has been phenomenal. Every extra person added to the population has some level of extra impact. More people means more consumers.

“It is good that Bob Brown can give us that historical perspective. Otherwise, like the proverbial frog in soon-to-be boiling water, we do not notice the destruction and waste that is gradually piling up around us.”

Ms Kanck called on all political parties and environmental groups to include a focus on reducing population growth as part of efforts to halt environmental destruction, loss of species, and global warming.

“We can have a mature and civilised conversation about this, which does not invoke racism. This is about numbers of people and has nothing to do with their race or ethnicity. We need to look at this as human beings trying to live together on the planet, in an ecologically sustainable way.”

Global population is increasing by about 80 million people a year, which is like adding a medium-sized country to the planet every year.  This rate of growth is projected to continue for many decades to come, unless education and access to safe methods of family planning is increased.

Australia’s population has also grown rapidly over the past two decades (one of highest growth rates in the developed world, at around 1.6% per year), although growth has slowed during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the virtual cessation of immigration.

SPA may be contacted on for more information


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