This publication argues that there are dangers of undue emphasis on population reduction to address climate change; it jeopardises decades of work to advance multifaceted, rights respecting, environmentally sound and equitable development models.
Specific problems identified include:
A narrow focus on reducing birth rates ignores the other demographic factors that are part of the population-climate change equation.
One-sixth of the world’s population lives in countries with extremely low rates of consumption, including energy consumption, but these countries are also countries with higher rates of population growth.
Population control strategies have led to abuses, coercion and the violation of women’s fundamental rights.
Women’s right to control their own fertility should not be sacrificed to protect the environment.
Women’s bodies should not be the vehicle for climate change solutions, but concern for the impact of climate change on women should prompt effective as well as rights respecting efforts to control greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE).
Population control strategies may also undermine efforts by developing countries to incorporate legitimate demographic concerns in national climate adaptation plans.