Birth Control Access Significant in Addressing Climate Change

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March 30th, 2015

In Pakistan 4.2 million births per each year are unintended. About one-third of married Pakistani women desire access to birth control, according to an organization called the Population Reference Bureau. Yet the growing population there and elsewhere throughout the world is putting more pressure on the earth’s resources and increasing emissions, a very bad scenario when considering climate change. This could lead to a scarcity of food and water along with an increase in extreme weather events. Population growth impacts erosion, deforestation and many other aspects of climate change as well.Experts say more women throughout the world desire access to birth control, and a widespread program could help address their needs and climate change all at once. This would not be forcing women to take birth control but instead extending it to women who desire access to it but have none. Still, both of these concepts, birth control and climate change, remain controversial, stymying the effort to enact a smart, worldwide population control policy.

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Experts say better education, health, more resources and a brighter future come with family planning. But the stigma against its use in some cultures and the denial of climate change by certain ideologies compound the issue, making it harder to gain ground. Even so, an international coalition of experts on contraception, climate change and development are coming together, asking for a worldwide family planning program which is to be dovetailed into the latest version of the UN Sustainable Development Goals coming out this September. An organization called the Population and Sustainability Network says that some developing countries such as Ethiopia are already putting contraception programs in place. So there may be more reception to this in the global south than first thought. The Green Climate Fund could perhaps step in to financially support a worldwide contraception program. The Green Climate Fund plans to distribute $10 billion in donated funds to developing nations in order to help them adapt to climate change and create pathways for sustainable development.

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