Population growth contributes to climate change. Much of that growth is occurring in densely populated urban areas in the least developed countries, where maternal and child mortality rates are high, and where the effects of climate change are often the most devastating. Poor and disadvantaged women are disproportionately impacted by natural disasters and environmental changes. A reduction in consumption, primarily in the developed world, combined with increased access to voluntary family planning worldwide, is essential for both environmental mitigation and climate resiliency.
Voluntary family planning reduces pressure on natural resources and promotes environmental sustainability. In fact, research suggests that giving women the family planning services they already want would produce an emissions reduction effect similar to stopping all deforestation.
This section of the Family Planning Advocacy Toolkit provides research and policy briefs looking at the complex links between family planning, population and the environment. Why Population Matters to Climate Change from Population Action International provides a concise overview of the issues for advocates or policymakers.
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