UN: World lacks enough food, resources as population nears 9 billion

A United Nations report released Monday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia said the world is running out of time to make sure there is enough food, water and energy in the coming decades, Reuters reported.

By 2040, the world's population is expected to grow from 7 billion to 9 billion causing a major strain on global resources.

As early as 2030, the UN estimates the world will need at least 50 percent more food, 45 percent more energy, and 30 percent more water to meet the demands.

Not only is the population growing, but the UN High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability said consumption will grow as the middle-class increases by 3 billion over the next 20 years. The report warns that the international community must act now:

"The current global development model is unsustainable. We can no longer assume that our collective actions will not trigger tipping points as environmental thresholds are breached, risking irreversible damage… Indeed, if we fail to resolve the sustain- able development dilemma, we run the risk of condemning up to 3 billion members of our human family to a life of endemic poverty."

The panel's co-chair, South African President Jacob Zuma, said with the possibility of the world slipping further into recession "policymakers are hungry for ideas that can help them to navigate these difficult times," the BBC reported.

The panel was established in 2010 by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and its report will feed into discussions leading to the Rio+20 Summit this June.

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