Friday, November 20, 2009

Copenhagen Talks, Birth Control & the Environment

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) produced a report on the state of the world population as it stands in 2009. The report “urged world leaders to take into account improved access to family planning services in future discussions like next month's UN climate change summit in Copenhagen.” ( It noted that there is still time to work on issues regarding reproductive health, gender equality and how thinking “creatively” about the two and its effect on population could aid in a more sustainable world in the future.

As our faithful readers know, I have been blogging about the Copenhagen talks and of the level of commitment various world leader have said they will or will not commit in reaching long term agreements in the December climate change summit. Currently as it stands, President Obama acknowledge the US would not enter in any binding agreements at Copenhagen, that it would be “impossible.” (Expect Delays—Not a Good Enough Answer) But, other world leaders have said long term commitments through agreements and legislation is possible by December. We will have to wait and see.

Despite various world leaders saying they will or will not enter into agreements…There are more equally pressing issues left that need discussing other than the depletion of natural resources and carbon omissions that affect climate change, such as the effects of an ever growing population on the environment.

UNFPA executive director, Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, said that in order to help mobilize women against climate change they have to be empowered. CLIMATE CHANGE AFFECTS EVERYONE, although the news is currently filled with stories of climate change affecting poorer populations (especially women)... they are only the first of all of us to experience the detrimental impacts.

Although there is no empirical evident in the report that explains how population control would affect climate change, one only needs common sense to realize that the more people there are in the world, the more consumption of resources, the more waste, and the more greenhouse gasses there will be. A worthwhile discussion in Copenhagen would definitely be to consider the impact of birth control and overall health education on environmental preservation.

For more information about women and climate change, check out FMF's Global Campaign website at

Photo Credit: Jealously on

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