Genetically engineered crops are key: Beddington

John Beddington gets it right:

"A number of very important factors are about to change our world," said Beddington, an expert in population biology. "Its population is rising by six million every month and will reach a total of around 9,000 million by 2050. At the same time, it is estimated that by 2030 more than 60% of the population will be living in cities and will no longer be involved in growing crops or raising domestic animals. And on top of that the world's population is getting more prosperous and able to pay for more food."

Beddington said these factors indicated that the world was going to need 40% more food, 30% more water and 50% more energy by the middle of the century – at a time when climate change was starting to have serious environmental impacts on the planet, flooding coastal plains, spreading deserts and raising temperatures. "We could cut down tropical rain forests and plant crops on the savannahs to grow more food, but that would leave us even more vulnerable to the impact of global warming and climate change. We needed these regions to help absorb carbon dioxide emissions, after all."

© 2017, Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge University, Bateman St, CB2 1LR