Given the urgency of the environmental crisis facing the world and the lack of political will, other non-coercive approaches to halt global warming are needed, say Drs John Bongaarts and Regine Sitruk-Ware of the Population Council in New York.
Global climate change represents a "grave threat" to the future of humankind and the natural environment, but potential remedies have largely focused on switching to renewable energy sources and increasing energy efficiency, they write.
Urgency - Crisis - Approaches - Priority - Access
But the urgency of the crisis means that other approaches need to be given greater priority, they say. "Improving access to effective contraception is one such policy that thus far has been largely ignored by the international climate community."
But its inclusion in the debate around the best way to halt climate change is important for three good reasons, they argue.
Population - Growth - Driver - Climate - Change
Population growth is a key driver of climate change; greater and more effective use of contraception reduces unplanned pregnancies which contribute to population growth; and many more men and women would freely choose to use contraception if only it were available and acceptable, they say.
By 2100, the planet is expected to be home to nearly 11 billion people, some 3 billion more than at present. And that means greenhouse gas emissions will rise further, making global warming an even more intractable problem in the coming decades than...
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