An increasing number of individuals and organisations are painting overpopulation as a key driver of climate change, and are promoting increased family planning policies and limits on population growth as a key solution to climate change. GenderCC has serious concerns about these propositions, which divert attention away from the main causes of climate change and have the potential to impede a rights-based approach to family planning.This discussion paper focuses on arguments about the contribution of population growth to climate change — that is, its relevance for climate change mitigation. It does not deny that population growth is likely to exacerbate a number of existing social and environmental pressures. It argues that population growth per se is not a major contributor to climate change, and that a focus on overpopulation as a climate change threat masks the much more critical role played by overconsumption.
Type of publication: