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Demografie und Entwicklung

WASHINGTON, DC – Die ehrgeizigen Ziele nachhaltiger Entwicklung (ZNE), die darauf ausgerichtet sind, bis 2030 die Armut zu beenden, den gemeinsamen Wohlstand zu steigern und für mehr Nachhaltigkeit zu sorgen, erfordern die Überwindung einiger wichtiger Hindernisse – von der Beschaffung ausreichender Finanzmittel zur Bekämpfung des Klimawandels bis zur Steuerung gesamtwirtschaftlicher Erschütterungen. Doch gibt es ein potenzielles Hindernis, das sich im Nachhinein als Segen erweisen könnte: die verschiedenen demografischen Verschiebungen, die in den kommenden Jahren stattfinden werden.

Wenn das ZNE-Programm sein Enddatum erreicht, wird es weltweit schätzungsweise 8,5 Milliarden Menschen geben. Zwanzig Jahre später – also in nur 34 Jahren – werden es knapp zehn Milliarden sein, d. h. fast 2,5 Milliarden mehr als heute. Wie wird eine derartige Welt aussehen? Wo werden diese zusätzlichen Menschen leben? Wie werden sie ihren Lebensunterhalt bestreiten? Werden sie die nationalen Volkswirtschaften stärken oder belasten?

Hinweise bietet ein Rückblick 35 Jahre in die Vergangenheit, also in die frühen 1980er Jahre. Damals beherrschten US-Präsident Ronald Reagan, der chinesische Führer Deng Xiaoping, die britische Premierministerin Margaret Thatcher, der französische Staatspräsident François Mitterrand und der sowjetische Präsident Michail Gorbatschow die weltweiten Schlagzeilen. Die Verkäufe an Personalcomputern waren unbedeutend, und Kinder maßen sich im Wettstreit mit Rubiks Zauberwürfel statt in der „erweiterten Realität“ von Pokémon.

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