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A Surging Population Brings Risks for Next Global Climate Talks Host

Egyptian cities are choked and chaotically developed, with metropolitan Cairo already Africa’s largest city.

A crowded street in the Al Ataba market area of Cairo, Egypt.

A crowded street in the Al Ataba market area of Cairo, Egypt.

Photographer: Gehad Hamdy/picture alliance/Getty Images

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Every child comes with its blessing, the Egyptian saying goes. 

With the country’s population now soaring beyond 100 million, that adage is being put to the test like never before. The number of Egyptians has almost quadrupled since 1960 and, if unchecked, could nearly double again by 2050,  threatening to tip the host of this year’s global climate summit into a future where ever-scarcer resources thwart ambitious development efforts.