Family planning ‘key to climate fight’

Empowering women to make their own family size choices will help tackle poverty and climate change, a special issue of World Watch magazine says, which aims to tackle a taboo subject that is "conspicuously absent from the public discourse".

The global population, currently about 6.7 billion, is expected to increase to 9 billion by 2050.

Growing populations contribute to deteriorating environmental conditions, such as water and food shortages and human-induced climate change. As the effects of climate change begin to take hold, the number of environmental refugees is expected to grow. One estimate cited by Elizabeth Leahy and Sean Peoples in "Population and Security" estimates that 200 million people will be displaced by the impacts of climate change by 2050.

The magazine concludes that empowering women to make choices through education, economic opportunity and family planning services is the best strategy to tackle population growth and the many problems connected to it.

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