United Kingdom - Mar 23
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Britain set to become most populous country in EU
Robin McKie, The Guardian
Britain will become one of the world's major destinations for immigrants as the world heats up and populations continue to soar. Statistics from the United Nations show that, on average, every year more than 174,000 people will be added to the numbers in the UK and that this trend will continue for the next four decades.
By then, only the United States and Canada will be receiving more overseas settlers, says the UN. This increase in British numbers is likely to put considerable strain on the country's transport, energy and housing, experts warned last week.
"The US and Canada will be taking in more people than us every year by 2050 but they are huge countries," said demographer Professor Tom Dyson of the London School of Economics. "Britain, by contrast, is a small nation. We will feel the impact of all these people. There will be no getting out of it. Simply controlling our carbon dioxide emissions will become harder and harder as more and more people arrive on our shores. In addition, housing, water supplies and transport will be strained and will need greatly increased investment."...
(22 March 2009)
Food and energy shortages will create 'perfect storm', says Prof John Beddington
Richard Alleyne, The Daily Telegraph
The demand for resources will create a crisis with dire consequences, Prof Beddington predicts.
Demand for food and energy will jump 50 per cent by 2030 and for fresh water by 30 per cent, as the global population tops 8.3 billion, he is due to tell a conference in London.
Climate change will exacerbate matters in unpredictable ways, he will add.
"It's a perfect storm," Prof Beddington will tell the Sustainable Development UK 09 conference.
"There's not going to be a complete collapse, but things will start getting really worrying if we don't tackle these problems.
"My main concern is what will happen internationally, there will be food and water shortages," he said.
"We're relatively fortunate in the UK. There may not be shortages here, but we can expect prices of food and energy to rise."...
(19 March 2009)
Government borrowing 'to swell'
The government has limited scope to implement its planned stimulus package as borrowing soars, according to a key economic think-tank.
The Ernst & Young Item club forecasts that net borrowing will rise to £180bn in the forthcoming tax year and will exceed the Chancellor's own prediction.
It said that public finances were deteriorating "at an alarming rate".
Shadow chancellor George Osborne called it "the worst fiscal mess any British government has created in peacetime".
Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Vince Cable said the government's public finance estimates were "so far removed from reality that no one is likely to take them seriously any more"...
(21 March 2009)