START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
Nov 9, 2009
From Reuters Alertnet 16 Oct 2009
Written by: Kathleen Mogelgaard
Much of the focus leading up to the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December is on reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change: who should have to cut, by how much, and in what time frame.
We hear a lot about cap and trade, clean energy, promoting energy efficiency, and other technological solutions. For years, reducing emissions has been the focus of efforts to address climate change.

But we know now that reducing emissions is not enough. Millions of lives are being upended by the effects of changes in climate - food scarcity, water scarcity, vulnerability to natural disasters and infectious diseases, and population displacement. Women and children are the most vulnerable groups to climate change.

So how does reproductive health fit into this picture? A new study by the UK-based Optimum Population Trust and the London School of Economics shows the connection between contraceptives and climate change.

The study concludes that universal access to reproductive health could be one of the most cost effective ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

A Population Action International report from May detailed how population dynamics, not just overall growth, contribute to climate change.

This helps to broaden our thinking around the diversity of strategies that will be needed for meaningful and lasting solutions to climate change as world leaders try to hammer out a new global climate treaty.

Investing in contraceptives and reproductive health is about more than reducing emissions. It is also a critical piece of reducing vulnerability and building resilience to the impacts of climate change.

This is true from a demographic perspective, as well as at the individual and household level.


Rapid population growth can exacerbate existing vulnerability to the impacts of climate change.

Population growth rates in highly vulnerable low-elevation coastal zones in Bangladesh and China are nearly twice as high as national averages.

In Ethiopia, the combination of rapid population growth and climate-induced declines in agricultural production will heighten food insecurity.

At the household level, a woman with access to reproductive health services is healthier and has healthier children. She has greater opportunities to diversify income sources. And she is more likely to be able safeguard herself and her family in the event of disaster.


All of these things contribute to resilience in the face of the impacts of climate change.


Slowly but surely, the larger reproductive health and rights community is paying attention to these important linkages in the lead up to Copenhagen.


Last month, Population Action International's Karen Hardee participated in an event hosted by U.N. Population Fund to highlight this critical but often overlooked aspect of climate change.


Karen spoke of the link between meeting needs for reproductive health and fostering resilience in countries hard hit by the effects of climate change. She highlighted a recent working paper that examines national climate change adaptation plans for 41 least developed countries.


Not surprisingly, the vast majority of these plans identify rapid population growth as a factor that exacerbates vulnerability in their countries. Unfortunately, only two propose adaptation projects that include aspects of reproductive health.


In a world where 200 million women have an "unmet need" for family planning, increasing access to contraceptive services can and should be one of the tools for addressing the impacts of climate change.


As heads of state gather in Copenhagen, they should broaden their view beyond the technological fixes that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and remember the human face of climate change - a face that is frequently female, and in need of fundamental support that will enable her to take care of herself, her family, and our world.


Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of or its affiliates.


BMutiny TCorporationsEvil
, 1, 1 child
Seattle, WA, USA
Shares by Type:
All (263) | Blog (141) | Alert (116) | Message (6)

Showing shares tagged with: contraceptiveservices [show all]
(0 comments  |  discussions )
New Petition! Speak out against Time-Warner Merger with Comcast! Let your opinion be know before your bill goes up and your programming choices dwindle.\\r\\n\\r\\nUrge DOJ and FCC to Not Allow Merger of Time-Warner and Comcast\\r\\nhttp://www.t hepetitionsi...
(0 comments  |  discussions )
New Petition! Speak out against Time-Warner Merger with Comcast! Let your opinion be know before your bill goes up and your programming choices dwindle.\\r\\n\\r\\nUrge DOJ and FCC to Not Allow Merger of Time-Warner and Comcast\\r\\nhttp://www.t hepetitionsi...
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\\nIn a meeting of the EU General Affairs Council nineteen states opposed the approval of  GM Maize Pioneer 1507, developed jointly by DuPont and Dow Chemica l, while five supported it and four abstained from any view, EU officials s...
(0 comments  |  discussions )
Please sign this petition asking shelters to open before temperatures hit life-threatening levels: http://www.thepetitionsit
(0 comments  |  discussions )
 \\r\\n\\r\\n\\r\\nW hy this is important\\r\\nAs a community comprised of members actively using the tools provided by this site to accomplish needed improvements to various aspects of all life (animal, human, environmental), we, the undersigned, are her...
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\r\nHow to spread the news\r\n02/11/14\r\n\r\nT his is really awfull, i did write many hosst announcements, but they dissapeared, luckely
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\\nDear friends! \\r\\nLet us please help these three innocent 6, 8 and 10-year-old children to get justice. \\r\\nTheir stepfather abused them all and raped the youngest one.  \\r\\nThere is a very little hope he will get punished, since the ...
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\\njust found this group and in case no one in it has been to care2 recently they now let you donate to save rainforest land using butterfly credits...just one hundred credits to donate.....saving rainforests is one of the most important things we can ...
(4 comments  |  discussions )
\\nSad that this peition has not gotten many signatures, I thought it would do well because anyone can participate.\\r\\nPlease sign if you have not done so yet. And if you have, thank you so much for all you do!!!  The dog pictured in the petition ...
by Ys A.
(0 comments  |  0 discussions )
\\nCoretta Scott King: “We have done what we can to reveal the truth, and we now urge you as members of the media, and we call upon elected officials, and other persons of influence to do what they can to share the revelation of this case to the ...