Over 7.5 billion people now reside on planet Earth, according to the World Population Clock. But with more people could comes less access to resources like food and energy. A global population of 7.5 billion people has far-reaching repercussions – including increased greenhouse gas emissions, strained food supplies, and increased total consumption, according to Charity organization Population Matters.

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Population Matters says that population growth could keep some countries in poverty, and it intrudes on land needed by wildlife. Head of Campaigns Alistair Currie told edie.net, “We will see cutthroat competition for shrinking resources which will include not just fossil fuels but productive land and water, pushing prices up not just for consumers but for the businesses and industries which need them too. Huge potential markets like much of sub-Saharan Africa will be stuck in poverty and we’ll see political instability arising from population and migration pressures, including conflict over resources.”

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China has the most people in one country; 1.38 billion people live there. India is next with 1.34 billion, followed by the United States with 326 million. The United Nations thinks our global population will hit 10 billion people by the year 2056.

Related: Scientists say the world is “one crop breeding cycle away from starvation”

Currie warned that while businesses may see increased global population as the opportunity to gain more customers, too much growth won’t be good for our planet – or business. He said, “Growth cannot continue indefinitely on a finite planet and fewer consumers is ultimately better for all of us. Business must start recognizing and adapting to that reality. With action now, we can limit population growth and eventually reach sustainable levels.”

We’re currently using up the resources of 1.6 Earths, and we’ll need 3 Earths by 2050 unless we can alter our consumption patterns.

+ Population Matters

Via edie

Images via Stròlic Furlàn – Davide Gabino on Flickr and McKay Savage on Flickr