Monday, July 20, 2009

Hillary Agrees 'Family Planning' Critical to Global Warming

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking about her meeting in Mumbai, India, said, “one of the participants pointed out that it’s rather odd to talk about climate change and what we must do to stop and prevent the ill effects without talking about population and family planning. That was an incredibly important point.”

UPDATE 10/28/14: Limiting Births Fails to Save Earth, Says Government Report

UPDATE 9/22/09: Obama White House Advises 'Green' Abortions

UPDATE 9/20/09: World Health Organization Says Earth's Enemy is Too Many Babies

UPDATE 10/20/09: Environmentalists Say Trade Babies For Climate Change

-- From "Hillary Clinton talks climate change in India" by John Ward Anderson, Politico 7/20/09

Hillary Clinton, in her first visit to India as secretary of state, said Sunday that the United States and India can work together to combat global warming and at the same time spark economic growth and generate new jobs.

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From "Universal family planning access" by Duncan Clark, UK Guardian 7/13/09

Global investment in family planning and female education could slow down global population growth, reducing future emissions and tackling climate change vulnerability.

Demographic factors will play a significant role in determining future emissions. The most obvious such factor is the global population, which is expected to rise to around nine billion by 2050.

Rising population is significant not only as a driver of emissions but also as a key factor in determining the vulnerability of developing countries to the impacts of global warming. In almost all of the climate change adaptation plans submitted to the United Nations by least-developed countries, rapid population growth is mentioned as something that either exacerbates vulnerability or impedes adaption. More than half of these least-developed countries will at least double in population by the middle of the century.

Ensuring universal access to family planning services and investing in female education is a pivotal climate change solution, Louise Carver of the Population and Sustainability Network (PSN) told the the Manchester panel. According to Carver, 200 million women wish to delay or prevent their next pregnancy but lack access to contraception. Despite this fact, and the sharp projected growth rate in potential contraception users, global investment in family planning is at an all-time low, having declined by 30% in real terms since the mid-1990s.

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From "Clinton Accepts Blame for ‘Global Warming’ Role, Ponders Link Between Climate Change and Family Planning" by Patrick Goodenough, International Editor 7/20/09
Some green activists have long advocated a greater focus on population control in the climate change campaign.

In a position paper adopted by its board of directors in November 2007, the Sierra Club said, “Given the grave implications of population growth, the Sierra Club urges greater effort to explain how population pressure is affecting the environment and stronger support for the program – family planning, health care, and education and opportunity for women – that most effectively encourages smaller families.”

Identifying an average of two children per family as a requirement to stabilize the world population, the paper said the Sierra Club “welcomes non-coercive, culturally sensitive policies that will help lower birth rates, stabilize global population, and make a smaller population a realistic possibility.”

In 2007, an Australian academic argued that a government campaign to encourage bigger families was flying in the face of the fight against climate change.

Rather than offering couples financial incentives to have more children, he said, a tax should be levied on parents who have more than an agreed number of children, “in line with the ‘polluter pays’ principle.”

The Chinese government, which enforces a controversial and often coercive birth limitation policy, has listed its population control efforts among its contributions to combating climate change.

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