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Not so much a glimpse, more a wormhole

by Tony Manwaring

I have been celebrating the importance of Indian business leaders - the New VIctorians of the Green industrial revolution   And I've argued that this is so important for all of us because we will only be able to create new zero-carbon futures by developing the language and the mental maps and only then can we contemplate the scale of the climate challenge future we face.

When I said that the House of Commons event we hosted with the Centre for Social Markets, provided a glimpse into that future, I think I understated the case.  Consider this - population projections by 2050, from the Population Reference Bureau  (with thanks to Peter Luff MP, our generous host, for bringing these to my attention)

1 India, 1,628m (2)

2 China, 1,437m (1)

3 United States, 420m (3)

4 Indonesia, 308m (4)

5 Nigeria, 307m (9)

Source: PRB (2004 position in brackets)

So, India will overtake China in terms of population - a nation which will have to reconcile development and equity goals, economic and social justice ambitions, if it is to succeed and prosper.  A nation whose destiny will fundamentally shape that of the world.

When I talked of getting a glimpse into the future, I should have said that sitting in the House of Commons yesterday was more like travelling through a wormhole   The energy, the sense of possibility, the practical examples cited, all provided a short-cut through space and time.

2050, India - a sustainable future, a leadership challenge not just for India but for the whole world.

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