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Population growth and climate change: Addressing the overlooked threat multiplier

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... Population growth is directly related to climate adaptation and mitigation as it is a driver of both climate risks (Asefi-Najafabady et al., 2018;Dodson et al., 2020;Jones et al., 2015;Liu et al., 2017) and climate-altering emissions (IPCC, 2014a;O'Neill et al., 2015;O'Sullivan, 2018). According to the IPCC (2014a), population growth is a major driver of increases in greenhouse gas emissions. ...
... Many strategies can lead to lower fertility and slower population growth, while accelerating societal development: most notably, family planning programs, girls' education, and programs to promote gender equity (Bongaarts, 2016;Dodson et al., 2020). Family planning is becoming increasingly recognized as a human-rights based and cost-effective measure to improve public health and reduce vulnerability to climate risks (Hardee et al., 2018; Population growth, family planning and the Paris Agreement:… Mogelgaard, 2018), particularly as over 200 million women around the world of reproductive age want to stop or delay childbearing, but are not using modern contraception (Starrs et al., 2018). ...
... As family planning is increasingly recognized as a cost-effective strategy which should be eligible for adaptation funding, governments concerned with population growth should be encouraged to include family planning programs in their multisectoral climate strategies and projects. Integrated approaches that include population, health, and environment are well suited to prepare for climate impacts and reduce climate risks (Dodson et al., 2020). Finally, scientists and policy experts working on climate change should acknowledge the efficacy of family planning investments in lowering community vulnerabilities to future climate change, in order to encourage politicians to implement these programs. ...
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Under the Paris Agreement, nations made pledges known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs): national climate plans detailing countries’ ambitions to adapt to climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Population growth is a driver of both climate vulnerability and climate-altering emissions. We asked, to what extent do countries take population growth into account in their NDCs, beyond simple statements of population trends? Our research method was a comprehensive text review of 164 NDCs submitted by countries. About one-third (49) of countries’ NDCs either link population growth to a negative effect and/or identify population growth as a challenge or trend affecting societal needs. Common impacts of population growth noted were increased energy demand, natural resource degradation, vulnerability to climate impacts, and decreased food and water security. Seven NDCs included strategies to slow population growth, and none specified implementation measures. Overall, the adaptation potential and mitigation co-benefits associated with slowing population growth through meeting the unmet need for family planning are largely overlooked in national NDC documents, suggesting that they are also neglected in countries’ climate change planning. In upcoming rounds of NDC updates, we recommend that governments consider the potential impact of population growth on adaptation and mitigation efforts, prioritize meeting their unmet needs for family planning, and integrate population-health-environment projects in their national climate plans.
... There is a scientific consensus on the role of human activities in direct or indirect carbon emissions, which subsequently lead to climate change. Figure (1) presents the interrelationship between human activities and the surrounding environmental conditions (Jain, et al. 2019;Jenna, et al. 2020). ...
... Figure 1: Major socio-economic sectors Vs. climate variability and change (Jenna, et al. 2020). ...
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Although agriculture is characterized by relative stability; But it has undergone change according to the surrounding conditions. Agriculture in Iraq has recently witnessed a rapid change in its characteristics, the cultivated areas, and the productivity of these areas, albeit to varying degrees, for several reasons, including: wars, water scarcity, and climatic changes in the region that led to its deterioration. This climate change has negatively affected agricultural crops and vegetative cover. This study revolves around the basics and details of the cultivation and production of strategic crops (wheat and barley) in the Al-Muwfiqiyah district, as a sample, in Wassit Governorate / Iraq, to detect the impact of climatic changes on productivity and vegetation cover during the past two decades. The change in productivity and area of agricultural crops (using NDVI) was monitored according to changes in climate elements (temperature, humidity and rain), as they are the most influential climate elements on agriculture, This study showed that the relationship between the productivity of hectares and the climate change parameters adopted in this study is random and this result was logically reflected on the vegetation cover index. The aim of this study is to prepare a guide and develop a tool for planners and decision makers in preparing appropriate development plans and programs necessary to advance the reality of cultivation and production of those crops, and finding appropriate ways to develop and upgrade them in the future. ‫الملخص‬ ً ‫سريعا‬ ً ‫تغيرا‬ ً ‫مؤخرا‬ ‫العراق‬ ‫في‬ ‫الزراعة‬ ‫شهدت‬ ‫المحيطة.‬ ‫الظروف‬ ‫حسب‬ ‫تغيرت‬ ‫لكنها‬ ‫؛‬ ‫النسبي‬ ‫باالستقرار‬ ‫تتميز‬ ‫الزراعة‬ ‫أن‬ ‫من‬ ‫الرغم‬ ‫على‬ ‫في‬ ‫و‬ ، ‫المزروعة‬ ‫والمساحات‬ ، ‫خصائصها‬ ‫تدهور‬ ‫وإن‬ ، ‫المناطق‬ ‫هذه‬ ‫إنتاجية‬ ‫كان‬ ‫وندرة‬ ، ‫الحروب‬ ‫منها:‬ ، ‫أسباب‬ ‫لعدة‬ ، ‫متفاوتة‬ ‫بدرجات‬ ‫النب‬ ‫والغطاء‬ ‫الزراعية‬ ‫المحاصيل‬ ‫على‬ ‫ًا‬ ‫سلب‬ ‫المناخي‬ ‫التغير‬ ‫هذا‬ ‫أثر‬ ‫انتشارها.‬ ‫إلى‬ ‫أدت‬ ‫التي‬ ‫المنطقة‬ ‫في‬ ‫المناخية‬ ‫والتغيرات‬ ، ‫المياه‬ ‫تدور‬ ‫اتي.‬ ‫هذ‬ (‫االستراتيجية‬ ‫المحاصيل‬ ‫وانتاج‬ ‫زراعة‬ ‫وتفاصيل‬ ‫اساسيات‬ ‫حول‬ ‫الدراسة‬ ‫ه‬ ‫ال‬ ‫و‬ ‫قمح‬ ‫ال‬ / ‫واسط‬ ‫محافظة‬ ‫في‬ ‫كعينة‬ ‫الموفقية‬ ‫منطقة‬ ‫في‬ ‫شعير)‬ ‫ومساحة‬ ‫إنتاجية‬ ‫في‬ ‫التغير‬ ‫رصد‬ ‫تم‬ ‫الماضيين.‬ ‫العقدين‬ ‫خالل‬ ‫النباتي‬ ‫والغطاء‬ ‫االنتاجية‬ ‫على‬ ‫المناخية‬ ‫التغيرات‬ ‫اثر‬ ‫عن‬ ‫للكشف‬ ، ‫العراق‬ ‫المحاصيل‬ ‫الزراعية‬ ‫باستخدام‬ NDVI)) ‫العناصر‬ ‫أكثر‬ ‫أنها‬ ‫حيث‬ ، ‫والمطر)‬ ‫والرطوبة‬ ‫الحرارة‬ ‫(درجة‬ ‫المناخ‬ ‫عناصر‬ ‫في‬ ‫التغيرات‬ ‫حسب‬ ‫إنتاجية‬ ‫بين‬ ‫العالقة‬ ‫أن‬ ‫الدراسة‬ ‫هذه‬ ‫وأظهرت‬ ، ‫الزراعة‬ ‫على‬ ً ‫تأثيرا‬ ‫المناخية‬ ‫من‬ ‫الهكتار‬ ‫المعتمدة‬ ‫المناخ‬ ‫تغير‬ ‫ومعايير‬ ‫الزراعية‬ ‫المحاصيل‬ ‫الدراسة‬ ‫هذه‬ ‫في‬ ‫أداة‬ ‫وتطوير‬ ‫دليل‬ ‫إعداد‬ ‫إلى‬ ‫الدراسة‬ ‫هذه‬ ‫تهدف‬ ‫النباتي.‬ ‫الغطاء‬ ‫مؤشر‬ ‫على‬ ‫ًا‬ ‫منطقي‬ ‫النتيجة‬ ‫هذه‬ ‫انعكست‬ ‫وقد‬ ‫عشوائية‬ ‫وإيجاد‬ ، ‫المحاصيل‬ ‫تلك‬ ‫وإنتاج‬ ‫زراعة‬ ‫بواقع‬ ‫للنهوض‬ ‫والضرورية‬ ‫المناسبة‬ ‫التنموية‬ ‫والبرامج‬ ‫الخطط‬ ‫إعداد‬ ‫في‬ ‫القرار‬ ‫ومتخذي‬ ‫للمخططين‬ ‫لتطويرها‬ ‫المناسبة‬ ‫السبل‬ ‫ف‬ ‫المستقبل‬ ‫ي‬ ‫بها‬ ‫واالرتقاء‬. ‫المفتاحية‬ ‫الكلمات‬ : ‫المناخية‬ ‫التغيرات‬ ، ‫اإلنتاجية‬ ، NDVI ‫الزراعة‬ ،
... While demographers and climate scientists have long noted the link between population growth and climate change at a global scale [85], there is an opportunity to more fully embrace the cascading benefits of voluntary family planning as a climate solution through rights-based programmatic and policy interventions that ensure every person can choose whether, when, with whom, and how often to have children [86]. There are close links between educational attainment, use of family planning services, and fertility [87], though some call for additional research on the causal relationship of education on sexual and reproductive health outcomes [88]. ...
... For example, meeting the contraceptive and maternal care needs of women in low-and middle-income countries could prevent nearly three quarters of maternal deaths, with similarly dramatic decreases in newborn mortality [85]. Furthermore, there is increasing evidence that family planning decreases vulnerability to environmental shocks and stressors such as flooding, drought, and food and water scarcity, and boosts resilience [86,90]. ...
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The climate crisis threatens to exacerbate numerous climate-sensitive health risks, including heatwave mortality, malnutrition from reduced crop yields, water- and vector-borne infectious diseases, and respiratory illness from smog, ozone, allergenic pollen, and wildfires. Recent reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stress the urgent need for action to mitigate climate change, underscoring the need for more scientific assessment of the benefits of climate action for health and wellbeing. Project Drawdown has analyzed more than 80 solutions to address climate change, building on existing technologies and practices, that could be scaled to collectively limit warming to between 1.5° and 2 °C above preindustrial levels. The solutions span nine major sectors and are aggregated into three groups: reducing the sources of emissions, maintaining and enhancing carbon sinks, and addressing social inequities. Here we present an overview of how climate solutions in these three areas can benefit human health through improved air quality, increased physical activity, healthier diets, reduced risk of infectious disease, and improved sexual and reproductive health, and universal education. We find that the health benefits of a low-carbon society are more substantial and more numerous than previously realized and should be central to policies addressing climate change. Much of the existing literature focuses on health effects in high-income countries, however, and more research is needed on health and equity implications of climate solutions, especially in the Global South. We conclude that adding the myriad health benefits across multiple climate change solutions can likely add impetus to move climate policies faster and further.
... The second one was widely debated in the 1970s and 1980s but subsequently became almost a taboo (Tamburino et al., 2020;Campbell et al., 2007). Nevertheless, recent years have seen a return of the population debate and (possibly) increasing consensus among scientists that population issue should be back in the agenda (Crist et al., 2017;Bongaarts and O'Neill, 2018;Dodson et al., 2020;Wolf et al., 2021;Bongaarts, 2016). Note that a higher population requires more land for anthropic uses (buildings, infrastructures, food production), limiting the available space for reforestation and nature conservation and ultimately reducing the land biocapacity. ...
... According to prevalent indicators, Japan still is one of the richest and most innovative countries of the world despite its population has been decreasing for years (Dutta et al., 2020). Moreover, recent researches indicate that aging can also bring some advantages, such as less congestion, lower housing costs, decreased per capita consumption of food (especially meat), energy and materials (Götmark et al., 2018;Smil, 2021), while the consequences of overshooting planetary boundaries risk to be catastrophic (IPCC, 2019;Dodson et al., 2020;Steffen et al., 2015). ...
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Clear indicators and evaluation criteria are essential to keep humanity’s environmental impact within planetary boundaries. We introduce a new criterion based on two constraints, accounting for both ecological and human sustainability. The ecological constraint is defined through a novel indicator, the eco-balance, grounded on the well known concept of ecological footprint and the new concept of population biodensity. The human sustainability constraint is based on the estimated level of biocapacity consumption needed to achieve an acceptable level of human development. The application of our criterion to world countries shows where technological improvements and changes in consumption patterns are sufficient to reach sustainability, and where actions on population and/or restoring ecological capital are also needed. This highlights synergic patterns going beyond simplistic schemes, such as overconsumption vs. overpopulation or developed vs. developing countries.
... Evidence shows that when rural women have the same access as men to productive resources, services and economic opportunities, there is a significant increase in agricultural output, with immediate and long-term social and economic gains, which contribute to the reduction of poor and hungry people (FAO, 2021). In Western Kenya, widows, in their new role as main livelihood providers, ensured food and water security through investments in rainwater harvesting systems and agroforestry, working together in formalised groups of collective action ( Relationship between climate change adaptation, mitigation, food security and right-based approaches with a focus on women empowerment (Source: Dodson et al., 2020) In sum, empowered and valued women in their societies increases their capacity to improve food security under climate change, make substantial contributions to their own wellbeing, to that of their families and communities, and, ultimately, to sustainable development (Langer et al. 2015). This requires also making visible women work and value it, not based on their contribution to commercialised agriculture, which is often dominated by men, but on their contribution to wellbeing and food security in household and community (Otieno Onyalo 2019). ...
... In Nepal, women's empowerment improved maternal and children nutrition, mitigating the negative effect of low production diversity (Malapit et al. 2015). Integrated nutrition and agricultural programs have increased women decision-making power and control over home gardens in Burkina Faso (van den Bold et al. 2015) with positive impacts on food security.Empowering women to decide on the size of their families through the provision of reproductive health services and education is also proposed as a demand-side measure for climate mitigation and adaptation(Dodson et al. 2020;Page and Larsen 2010;Stephenson et al. 2010; The Lancet 2009; figure 2). Global support for family planning could reduce population by 15% by 2050 and 45% by 2100 compared with the current trend (O'Sullivan 2018). ...
Technical Report
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ENGLISH ONLY UN Women Expert Group Meeting 'Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes'
... SLPS was unable to provide remote learning support to all the district's students in the immediate aftermath of these shutdowns, thus resulting in disparate access to school-related educational and social support. We examined the pandemic's impact using the Threat Multiplication Framework, a concept adapted from climate change research [17,18]. A threat multiplier is an extreme event of change, such as climate change, that exacerbates stress factors in clusters of a population at preexisting high risk of stress factors [17]. ...
... Therefore, study results may inform interventions that aim to mitigate the harms caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, our findings may inform efforts to help reduce the burden of future threat multipliers as current climate change studies suggest that minority and low-income communities in the USA are at risk of threat multiplication from other extreme weather-related events [17,18,66]. ...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted socioeconomic and racial health disparities in the USA. In this study, we examined the COVID-19 pandemic as a threat multiplier for childhood health disparities by evaluating health behavior changes among urban St. Louis, MO, children (ages 6–14) during the COVID-19 pandemic. From 27 October to 10 December 2020, 122 parents/guardians reported on their children’s health behaviors (Eating, Sleeping, Physical activity, Time outside, Time with friends in-person, Time with friends remotely, Time using media for educational proposes, Time using media for non-educational proposes, and Social connectedness) prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic. We ran K-means cluster analyses to identify distinct health behavior cluster profiles. Relative risks were determined to evaluate behavioral differences between the two clusters. Two distinct cluster profiles were identified: a High Impact profile (n = 49) and a Moderate Impact profile (n = 73). Children in the High Impact cluster had a greater risk of being diagnosed with COVID-19, developed worsened eating habits (RR = 2.10; 95% CI = 1.50–2.93), spent less time sleeping, and spent less time outdoors (RR = 1.55; 95% CI = 1.03–2.43) than the Moderate Impact cluster. The High Impact cluster was more likely to include Black children and children from single-adult households than the Moderate Impact cluster (both p < 0.05). Our findings suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic may be a threat multiplier for childhood health disparities. Further research is needed to better understand the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s health.
... Several studies recognize the link between population growth, natural resources and climate change, but these publications give emphasis to positive roles and sometimes sidestep tactfully due to the sensitive nature of discussing population regulation (Dodson et al. 2020). Population regulation remains an elusive topic in some nations with religious and cultural barriers curtailing it from public discourse. ...
... Population size, growth rate and consumption patterns are closely associated with build-up and emission of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Population growth in developed as well as low-income countries contributes to climate change through fossil fuel burning, deforestation and agricultural activities (Dodson et al. 2020). The largest share of greenhouse gases emanates from developed countries with large population (Liao and Cao 2013;Althor et al. 2016). ...
Article
Population growth and natural resources are intricately linked and play role in climate disruption and farmers’ ability to adapt to climate change especially in developing countries with rapid demographic changes and economies mostly dependent on natural resources. Although literature exists on population issues, emphasis was given to positive roles of population growth providing only incomplete picture for stakeholders and policy makers. This constrained climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies, improving food security and attaining sustainable development goals. We reviewed publications on low-income countries with emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. This review will bring forth often sidelined issue of population growth for decision-makers and future research in the context of achieving sustainable development goals of the United Nations for 2015–2030. Therefore, this review was initiated to reveal the impacts of population growth on natural resources and to uncover farmers’ capacity to adapt to climate change in low-income countries. Rapid population growth continues to be a major underlying force of environmental degradation and a threat to sustainable use of natural resources. It reduces the quality and quantity of natural resources through overexploitation, intensive farming and land fragmentation. Regions with high population pressure face scarcity of arable land, which leads to shortened/removed fallow period, declining soil fertility and farm income due to farm subdivision. Furthermore, landless individuals or those who operate small farms resettle or cultivate marginal lands, encroach on natural forests in search of more vacant land, which alters carbon source sink dynamics of the environment. Low farm income from small farms not only exacerbates food insecurity of farmers but also constrains their ability to adopt certain climate change adaptation technologies. All stakeholders should take swift actions to address challenges of rapid population growth and alter the dynamics between population, natural resources and climate change and its adaptation.
... Improvements in female education are critical in breaking down patriarchal structures and roles, enabling women to participate more fully in the economy and develop occupations and careers, typically resulting in later marriage, lowering the fertility rate through increased birth-spacing and fewer pregnancies. Importantly, since the impact of climate change is likely to be greatest in developing countries with high rates of population growth, ethical family planning can not only support economic and social development, but strengthen the resilience and adaptive capacity of poor communities (Dodson et al., 2020). ...
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At a high level of abstraction, causally connecting population growth and environmental degradation is intuitively appealing. However, while it is clear that population size is a critical factor in the size and power of social systems, and hence in environmental impact, the relationship between human numbers and environmental change is complex. In particular, the long timescales involved in population growth and decline, along with the shifting role of economic development in both population growth itself and environmental impact, obfuscate the role of population size as a multiplier of impact. Moreover, the protracted nature of demographic change makes population size seem like an intractable problem, the outcome of natural processes which are not only beyond choice, but, critically, morally perilous. In this review of the role of population size in environmental impact, I argue that choices, norms, and values, as well as material factors, are interwoven and inseparable in the environmental impact of our species. Furthermore, the consideration of human welfare and wellbeing is central to arguments regarding an environmentally sustainable population.
... The population as a decisive factor in the rise of CO2 emissions is influenced not only by its size, but also through its affluence. However, some researchers such as [71] believe that the magnitude of the population effect on CO2 emissions also varies depending on the income level of the country. ...
Article
Green investment and technology innovations are generally considered as an effective factor to mitigate CO2 emissions as these enhance cleaner production and energy efficacy. Thus, this study investigated the influence of green investment, technology innovations, and economic growth on CO2 emissions in selected Asian countries for the period 2001 to 2019. The Cross-Section dependency (CSD) signified the cross-section dependence in the panel countries, whereas CIPS and CADF testing affirmed the stationarity of all variables at the first difference. Consequently, the Westerlund cointegration method recognized a long-term association among variables. The outcomes of Panel Fully Modified OLS and Panel Dynamic OLS results indicated that green investment and technology innovations are helpful in mitigating CO2 emissions in selected Asian countries. In addition, the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) postulate is validated for the given time period and indicated inverted U-shaped linkages between the economic growth and CO2 emission. The outcomes of the remaining variables, including population growth, energy consumption, FDI inflow, and trade, are estimated to have an augmenting influence on CO2 emission. Our results regarding the FDI–CO2 emissions nexus support the presence of the pollution-haven hypothesis. Moreover, the estimated results from PFMOLS and PDOLS are validated by Granger Causality, and AMG and CCEMG tests. The study suggests the adoption of renewable sources as energy input and the promotion of innovations for energy efficiencies to reduce CO2 emissions in Asian economies.
... The population as a decisive factor in the rise of CO2 emissions is influenced not only by its size, but also through its affluence. However, some researchers such as [71] believe that the magnitude of the population effect on CO2 emissions also varies depending on the income level of the country. ...
Article
Full-text available
Green investment and technology innovations are generally considered as an effective factor to mitigate CO2 emissions as these enhance cleaner production and energy efficacy. Thus, this study investigated the influence of green investment, technology innovations, and economic growth on CO2 emissions in selected Asian countries for the period 2001 to 2019. The Cross-Section dependency (CSD) signified the cross-section dependence in the panel countries, whereas CIPS and CADF testing affirmed the stationarity of all variables at the first difference. Consequently, the Westerlund cointegration method recognized a long-term association among variables. The outcomes of Panel Fully Modified OLS and Panel Dynamic OLS results indicated that green investment and technology innovations are helpful in mitigating CO2 emissions in selected Asian countries. In addition, the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) postulate is validated for the given time period and indicated inverted U-shaped linkages between the economic growth and CO2 emission. The outcomes of the remaining variables, including population growth, energy consumption, FDI inflow, and trade, are estimated to have an augmenting influence on CO2 emission. Our results regarding the FDI–CO2 emissions nexus support the presence of the pollution-haven hypothesis. Moreover, the estimated results from PFMOLS and PDOLS are validated by Granger Causality, and AMG and CCEMG tests. The study suggests the adoption of renewable sources as energy input and the promotion of innovations for energy efficiencies to reduce CO2 emissions in Asian economies.
... Between 2000 and 2010, both drivers outpaced emission reductions from improvements in energy intensity … Without additional efforts to reduce GHG emissions beyond those in place today, emissions growth is expected to persist driven by growth in global population and economic activities. 1 Yet looking at the recommended actions and policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, both globally and in Australia, we are hard-pressed to find any mention of actions to stop population growth. 2 One of the few exceptions is the World Scientists' Warning of a Climate Emergency, which includes strong recommendations to minimise population growth. 3 For much of the remainder of both official and scientific discourse on climate policy, mention of population appears to be studiously avoided. ...
Technical Report
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Climate change is one of the greatest self-inflicted threats that human civilisation has ever faced. An unprecedented global effort is under way to change course to avert catastrophic outcomes – but doubts remain whether enough is being done, and quickly enough. In the flurry of activity and proposals, the role of human population size and growth is virtually ignored or actively rejected. This paper fills this gap with an in-depth review of the evidence. It explores questions such as: • How is population a key driver of climate change? • How has population growth contributed to Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions? • What are the implications of population growth for climate change mitigation and adaptation in poorer countries, compared to the more affluent countries? • How does the greenhouse gas impact of having fewer children compare with other climate-friendly actions such as eating less meat or avoiding air travel? • How can population policy be used as part of the actions to avoid catastrophic climate change? • How will climate change affect the health, safety and growth of populations? • Why has population been so often ignored in the policy prescriptions for combatting climate change? This paper includes unique insights by lead author Ian Lowe, who has been deeply involved in climate policy and research in Australia from its very beginning in the 1980s.
... 69 Likewise, existing multisectoral climate programs and country-level projects have not typically included education or reproductive health initiatives to improve adaptation and resilience despite compelling evidence for both. 3,6,7,52,63,70 Girls' education and family planning align well with NAPs' focus on medium and long-term priorities for adapting to climate change in ways that make people, ecosystems, and economies more resilient. ...
Technical Report
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Climate adaptation is essential for all people and is especially urgent for women and girls in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). Of many viable climate adaptation strategies, two well-proven, directly beneficial climate adaptation strategies are girls' education and family planning. Use of modern contraceptive methods and educational attainment-particularly at the secondary level-both affect women's fertility and health. 1 Girls’ Education and Family Planning: Essential Components of Climate Adaptation and Resilience—a Drawdown Lift policy brief—makes the case for recognizing family planning and girls’ education as effective long-term climate adaptation strategies. Both should be integrated into climate deliberations, funding priorities, and country-level actions.
... While the level of consumption is higher in developed countries, what exacerbates these issues is that industrial development and neoliberal economic ideology are no longer limited to one area (global North or West) (The Economist, 2015a). While some countries have gone through the demographic transition to lower fertility, despite declining mortality, some countries maintain high birth rates (The Economist, 2015b; The Economist, 2019), the middle classes are expanding globally, people are living longer, and migration occurs to developed higher consumption countries (The Economist, 2015a; Dodson, Dérer, Cafaro & Götmark, 2020). Feeding this everincreasing and demanding population will require current food production systems to double, aggravating land, water and other natural resource scarcity (Garnett et al., 2013). ...
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This article discusses closed-loop systems, namely Cradle to Cradle and circular economy, in the context of sustainable education. These circular models, at least ideally, promise absolute decoupling of resource consumption from the economy. This article presents student assignments applying these models to Hennes & Mauritz, a clothing retail company, and insect food producer, Protix. While the discussion of circular economy revolves around the economic benefits of closed-loop systems, it rarely addresses posthumanism. Posthumanism is related to postqualitative theory, inspired by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. Deleuze and Guattari emphasize that nature has become intertwined with technology and culture. In the cases discussed, combining both techno- and organic materials produces ‘monstrous hybrids’. It appears that fully circular solutions are rare as absolute decoupling is limited by thermodynamic (im)possibilities. This realization still has to be developed in environmental education. Within this posthumanist inquiry, the larger lesson from the case studies is the necessity of teaching about degrowth in production, consumption and corporate strategy. In pedagogical terms, this article aims to generate a more critical discussion within the environmental education community about how postqualitative inquiry can provide different and distinct perspectives from qualitative inquiry in the context of the circular economy.
... Over the last 30 years, the absolute number of deaths and DALYs attributable to both APMP and HAP significantly increased. This increase might be ascribed to two possible reasons: first, the increasing global population-weighted PM 2.5 , which rapidly increased from 2010 to 2015 and reached 44.2 µg/m 3 in 2015 (14), and second, the growth and aging of the population, which stimulate the aggravation of air pollution and increasing disease burden (15,16). However, the age-standardized A B D C FIGURE 1 | Temporal trends of global type 2 diabetes mellitus burden attributable to particulate matter pollution from 1990 to 2019 for both sexes combined for all ages. ...
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Background Epidemiological trends of type 2 diabetes mellitus attributable to fine particulate matter (PM 2.5 ) pollution remain unclear. Here, we estimated spatiotemporal trends of type 2 diabetes mellitus burden attributable to PM 2.5 pollution, including ambient particulate matter pollution (APMP) and household air pollution (HAP), from 1990–2019. Methods Data were obtained from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019 and were analyzed by age, sex, year, and location. Joinpoint regression analysis was applied in the analysis of temporal trends in type 2 diabetes mellitus burden over the 30 years. Results Globally, PM 2.5 pollution contributed to 292.5 thousand deaths and 13 million disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) in 2019. APMP ranked third among all risk factors, causing an increase in type 2 diabetes mellitus burden from 1990, whereas the impact of HAP significantly fell during the same period. Both APMP and HAP contributed the most to deaths and DALYs of type 2 diabetes mellitus among older people. However, the age-standardized death and DALY rates of type 2 diabetes mellitus attributable to APMP were greater among males and people in the middle socio-demographic index countries, especially in Southern Sub-Saharan Africa. For HAP, type 2 diabetes mellitus burden was modestly higher in females and was highest in Oceania, which was the only region with an increase from 1990. Conclusions PM 2.5 pollution resulted in substantial and increasing type 2 diabetes mellitus burden worldwide. Hence, governments and health systems should take steps to reduce air pollution to mitigate this increasing burden.
... According to the IPCC's (2014) 5th Assessment Report, "Globally, economic and population growth continue to be the most important drivers of increases in CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion." To date the governments of the world have attempted to deal with climate change through technological and managerial fixes, without addressing these fundamental drivers (Dodson et al., 2020). Indeed, in the case of economic growth, governments typically try to increase it as quickly as possible. ...
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... We have now had 30 years of extensive political debate and ethical reflection on global climate change (GCC) and throughout this time, participants have largely ignored the role that limiting population growth could play in dealing with it. On its face this might seem strange, since our scientific models have long identified population growth as one of the two primary drivers of humanity's increasing greenhouse gas (GG) emissions (IPCC, 2013), while studies have repeatedly shown that limiting population growth is among the cheapest, most effective means to mitigate (O'Neill et al., 2010(O'Neill et al., , 2012(O'Neill et al., , 2015 and adapt (Barrett et al., 2020;Dodson et al., 2020) to GCC's impacts. On reflection the oddity vanishes, since GCC policy discussions have been tightly constrained by conventional economic thinking, which regards limits to growth as anathema (Broome, 2019). ...
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Extreme events such as heat waves are among the most challenging aspects of climate change for societies. We show that climate models consistently project increases in temperature variability in tropical countries over the coming decades, with the Amazon as a particular hotspot of concern. During the season with maximum inso-lation, temperature variability increases by ~15% per degree of global warming in Amazonia and Southern Africa and by up to 10%°C −1 in the Sahel, India, and Southeast Asia. Mechanisms include drying soils and shifts in atmospheric structure. Outside the tropics, temperature variability is projected to decrease on average because of a reduced meridional temperature gradient and sea-ice loss. The countries that have contributed least to climate change, and are most vulnerable to extreme events, are projected to experience the strongest increase in variability. These changes would therefore amplify the inequality associated with the impacts of a changing climate.
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Mitigation scenarios that achieve the ambitious targets included in the Paris Agreement typically rely on greenhouse gas emission reductions combined with net carbon dioxide removal (CDR) from the atmosphere, mostly accomplished through large-scale application of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, and afforestation. However, CDR strategies face several difficulties such as reliance on underground CO2 storage and competition for land with food production and biodiversity protection. The question arises whether alternative deep mitigation pathways exist. Here, using an integrated assessment model, we explore the impact of alternative pathways that include lifestyle change, additional reduction of non-CO2 greenhouse gases and more rapid electrification of energy demand based on renewable energy. Although these alternatives also face specific difficulties, they are found to significantly reduce the need for CDR, but not fully eliminate it. The alternatives offer a means to diversify transition pathways to meet the Paris Agreement targets, while simultaneously benefiting other sustainability goals.
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Global, national and regional population projections are embedded in projections of future greenhouse gas emissions and in the anticipated impacts of climate change on food and water security. However, few studies acknowledge population growth as a variable affecting outcomes. Neither the uncertainty around population projections nor the scope for interventions to moderate growth is discussed. Instead, a deterministic approach is taken, assuming that population growth is governed by economic and educational advances.
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Although China’s family planning programme is often referred to in the singular, most notably the One-Child policy, in reality there have been a number of different policies in place simultaneously, targeted at different sub-populations characterized by region and socioeconomic conditions. This study attempted to systematically assess the differential impact of China’s family planning programmes over the past 40 years. The contribution of Parity Progression Ratios to fertility change among different sub-populations exposed to various family planning policies over time was assessed. Cross-sectional birth history data from six consecutive rounds of nationally representative population and family planning surveys from the early 1970s until the mid-2000s were used, covering all geographical regions of China. Four sub-populations exposed to differential family planning regimes were identified. The analyses provide compelling evidence of the influential role of family planning policies in reducing higher Parity Progression Ratios across different sub-populations, particularly in urban China where fertility dropped to replacement level even before the implementation of the One-Child policy. The prevailing socioeconomic conditions in turn have been instrumental in adapting and accelerating family planning policy responses to reducing fertility levels across China.
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A large literature considers the optimal size and growth rate of the human population, trading off the utility value of additional people with the costs of a larger population. In this literature, an important parameter is the social weight placed on population size; a standard result is that a planner with a larger weight on population chooses larger population levels and growth rates. We demonstrate that this result is conditionally overturned when an exhaustible resource constraint is introduced: if the discount rate is small enough, the optimal population today decreases with the welfare weight on population size. That is, a more total-utilitarian social planner could prefer a smaller population today than a more average-utilitarian social planner. We also present a numerical illustration applied to the case of climate change, where we show that under plausible real-world parameter values, our result matters for the direction and magnitude of optimal population policy.
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BACKGROUND Cross-sectional analyses of the relationship between contraceptive prevalence and the total fertility rate of developing countries show the expected strong negative correlation. However, this correlation is much weaker in sub-Saharan Africa than in the developing world as a whole. OBJECTIVE This paper aims to explain the unexpected weak effect of contraceptive use on fertility in sub-Saharan African countries by using different regression models to obtain unbiased effects. METHOD Using DHS survey data from 40 developing countries, the analysis consists of three steps: 1) examine the conventional cross-sectional TFR-CPR relationship by region at the time of the latest available surveys; 2) remove known technical flaws in the comparisons of fertility and contraceptive prevalence; and 3) analyze multiple observations of TFR and CPR per country using pooled OLS and fixed effect regressions. RESULTS The conventional cross-sectional analyses produce biased results, in part because technical factors, in particular postpartum overlap, create a downward bias in the effect of contraceptive prevalence on fertility in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, and more importantly, the cross-sectional regression OLS parameters have a bias due to confounding country fixed effects. Technical adjustments and the use of fixed-effect models remove these biases. CONCLUSION A rise in contraceptive prevalence among fecund women has the same average effect on fertility in sub-Saharan Africa as in other regions of the developing world.
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Climate change can increase the risk of conditions that exceed human thermoregulatory capacity. Although numerous studies report increased mortality associated with extreme heat events, quantifying the global risk of heat-related mortality remains challenging due to a lack of comparable data on heat-related deaths. Here we conducted a global analysis of documented lethal heat events to identify the climatic conditions associated with human death and then quantified the current and projected occurrence of such deadly climatic conditions worldwide. We reviewed papers published between 1980 and 2014, and found 783 cases of excess human mortality associated with heat from 164 cities in 36 countries. Based on the climatic conditions of those lethal heat events, we identified a global threshold beyond which daily mean surface air temperature and relative humidity become deadly. Around 30% of the world's population is currently exposed to climatic conditions exceeding this deadly threshold for at least 20 days a year. By 2100, this percentage is projected to increase to -1/448% under a scenario with drastic reductions of greenhouse gas emissions and -1/474% under a scenario of growing emissions. An increasing threat to human life from excess heat now seems almost inevitable, but will be greatly aggravated if greenhouse gases are not considerably reduced. © 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. All rights reserved.
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This paper presents one of the first quantitative scenario assessments for future water supply and demand in Asia to 2050. The assessment, developed by the Water Futures and Solutions (WFaS) initiative, uses the latest set of global climate change and socioeconomic scenarios and state-of-the-art global hydrological models. In Asia, water demand for irrigation, industry and households is projected to increase substantially in the coming decades (30-40% by 2050 compared to 2010). These changes are expected to exacerbate water stress, especially in the current hotspots such as north India and Pakistan, and north China. By 2050, 20% of the land area in the Asia-Pacific region, with a population of 1.6-2 billion, is projected to experience severe water stress. We find that socioeconomic changes are the main drivers of worsening water scarcity in Asia, with climate change impacts further increasing the challenge into the 21st century. Moreover, a detailed basin-level analysis of the hydro-economic conditions of 40 Asian basins shows that although the coping capacity of all basins is expected to improve due to GDP growth, some basins continuously face severe water challenges. These basins will potentially be home to up to 1.6 billion people by mid-21st century.
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Research suggests that the scale of human population and the current pace of its growth contribute substantially to the loss of biological diversity. Although technological change and unequal consumption inextricably mingle with demographic impacts on the environment, the needs of all human beings—especially for food—imply that projected population growth will undermine protection of the natural world. Numerous solutions have been proposed to boost food production while protecting biodiversity, but alone these proposals are unlikely to staunch biodiversity loss. An important approach to sustaining biodiversity and human well-being is through actions that can slow and eventually reverse population growth: investing in universal access to reproductive health services and contraceptive technologies, advancing women’s education, and achieving gender equality.
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In December 2015 in Paris, leaders committed to achieve global, net decarbonization of human activities before 2100. This achievement would halt and even reverse anthropogenic climate change through the net removal of carbon from the atmosphere. However, the Paris documents contain few specific prescriptions for emissions mitigation, leaving various countries to pursue their own agendas. In this analysis, we project energy and land-use emissions mitigation pathways through 2100, subject to best-available parameterization of carbon-climate feedbacks and interdependencies. We find that, barring unforeseen and transformative technological advancement, anthropogenic emissions need to peak within the next 10 years, to maintain realistic pathways to meeting the COP21 emissions and warming targets. Fossil fuel consumption will probably need to be reduced below a quarter of primary energy supply by 2100 and the allowable consumption rate drops even further if negative emissions technologies remain technologically or economically unfeasible at the global scale.
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We provide evidence that lower fertility can simultaneously increase income per capita and lower carbon emissions, eliminating a trade-off central to most policies aimed at slowing global climate change. We estimate the effect of lower fertility on carbon emissions, accounting for the fact that changes in fertility patterns affect carbon emissions through three channels: total population, the age structure of the population, and economic output. Our analysis proceeds in two steps. First, we estimate the elasticity of carbon emissions with respect to population and income per capita in an unbalanced yearly panel of cross-country data from 1950–2010. We demonstrate that the elasticity with respect to population is nearly seven times larger than the elasticity with respect to income per capita and that this difference is statistically significant. Thus, the regression results imply that 1% slower population growth could be accompanied by an increase in income per capita of nearly 7% while still lowering carbon emissions. In the second part of our analysis, we use a recently constructed economic-demographic model of Nigeria to estimate the effect of lower fertility on carbon emissions, accounting for the impacts of fertility on population growth, population age structure, and income per capita. We find that by 2100 C.E. moving from the medium to the low variant of the UN fertility projection leads to 35% lower yearly emissions and 15% higher income per capita. These results suggest that population policies could be part of the approach to combating global climate change.
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1: The fall in Iranian fertility: introduction and theoretical considerations.-2: The social, economic and cultural contexts of population policy changes in Iran.-3: National and provincial level fertility trends in Iran, 1972-2006.-4: Fertility dynamics using parity progression ratios.-5: Effects of marital fertility and nuptiality on fertility transition in Iran, 1976-2006.-6: Contraceptive use: trends, levels and correlates.-7: Contraceptive use dynamics: Life time use.-8: A cohort perspective on changes in family, fertility behavior and attitudes.-9: Women's autonomy and fertility behavior.-10: Explanations of the past and expectations of the future of fertility in Iran.
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Drawdown maps, measures, models, and describes the 100 most substantive solutions to global warming. For each solution, we describe its history, the carbon impact it provides, the relative cost and savings, the path to adoption, and how it works. The goal of the research that informs Drawdown is to determine if we can reverse the buildup of atmospheric carbon within thirty years. All solutions modeled are already in place, well understood, analyzed based on peer-reviewed science, and are expanding around the world. http://www.drawdown.org/
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Here we show the extent to which the expected world population growth could be lowered by successfully implementing the recently agreed-upon Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs include specific quantitative targets on mortality, reproductive health, and education for all girls by 2030, measures that will directly and indirectly affect future demographic trends. Based on a multidimensional model of population dynamics that stratifies national populations by age, sex, and level of education with educational fertility and mortality differentials, we translate these goals into SDG population scenarios, resulting in population sizes between 8.2 and 8.7 billion in 2100. Because these results lie outside the 95% prediction range given by the 2015 United Nations probabilistic population projections, we complement the study with sensitivity analyses of these projections that suggest that those prediction intervals are too narrow because of uncertainty in baseline data, conservative assumptions on correlations, and the possibility of new policies influencing these trends. Although the analysis presented here rests on several assumptions about the implementation of the SDGs and the persistence of educational, fertility, and mortality differentials, it quantitatively illustrates the view that demography is not destiny and that policies can make a decisive difference. In particular, advances in female education and reproductive health can contribute greatly to reducing world population growth.
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This paper presents the overview of the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) and their energy, land use, and emissions implications. The SSPs are part of a new scenario framework, established by the climate change research community in order to facilitate the integrated analysis of future climate impacts, vulnerabilities, adaptation, and mitigation. The pathways were developed over the last years as a joint community effort and describe plausible major global developments that together would lead in the future to different challenges for mitigation and adaptation to climate change. The SSPs are based on five narratives describing alternative socio-economic developments, including sustainable development, regional rivalry, inequality, fossil-fueled development, and middle-of-the-road development. The longterm demographic and economic projections of the SSPs depict a wide uncertainty range consistent with the scenario literature. A multi-model approach was used for the elaboration of the energy, land-use and the emissions trajectories of SSP-based scenarios. The baseline scenarios lead to global energy consumption of 400–1200 EJ in 2100, and feature vastly different land-use dynamics, ranging from a possible reduction in cropland area up to a massive expansion by more than 700 million hectares by 2100. The associated annual CO2 emissions of the baseline scenarios range from about 25 GtCO2 to more than 120 GtCO2 per year by 2100. With respect to mitigation, we find that associated costs strongly depend on three factors: (1) the policy assumptions, (2) the socio-economic narrative, and (3) the stringency of the target. The carbon price for reaching the target of 2.6 W/m2 that is consistent with a temperature change limit of 2 �C, differs in our analysis thus by about a factor of three across the SSP marker scenarios. Moreover, many models could not reach this target from the SSPs with high mitigation challenges. While the SSPs were designed to represent different mitigation and adaptation challenges, the resulting narratives and quantifications span a wide range of different futures broadly representative of the current literature. This allows their subsequent use and development in new assessments and research projects. Critical next steps for the community scenario process will, among others, involve regional and sectoral extensions, further elaboration of the adaptation and impacts dimension, as well as employing the SSP scenarios with the new generation of earth system models as part of the 6th climate model intercomparison project (CMIP6).
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The International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994 represented a remarkable watershed. Not only did it produce an unprecedented degree of agreement among the 179 countries and thousands of non-governmental organizations taking part, it also created a wide-ranging Programme of Action which for the first time offers real chances of progress, by putting population policies at the heart of the struggle for social development. This book recounts what actually happened in Cairo and how it was achieved. The early chapters look in some detail at the preparations for Cairo, in the context of over three decades of attempts to integrate population, development and environmental issues. Focusing on the key controversial questions, including abortion, contraception and adolescent sex, it examines the ways in which attempts were made to reconcile opposing positions. Setting the discussion in a much wider context, it argues that Cairo witnessed a ‘quantum leap’ in the way the population issue is seen, and the need to give them control over their own lives, – central to the discussion about population, resources and development. The Programme of Action which emerged from the conference, particularly the parts dealing with gender issues (included here in appendices), is the most forward-looking ever adopted. As a whole the Programme is probably one of the most important social documents of our time. This book captures both the drama and the detail of its creation. Stanley Johnson edited The Population Problem (1974) and is the author of World Population and the United Nations (1987) and World Population ? Turning the Tide (1994), as well as numerous other books, including eight novels. Originally published in 1995.
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Within a decade, women everywhere should have access to quality contraceptive services, argues John Bongaarts.
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Climate change (CC) is one of the major and most encompassing threats in the world today. While the facts and high-consensus predictions among natural scientists are increasingly well-known, the understanding of CC as a socio-ecological issue is much less clear and uncontroversial. This paper summarizes the available climate science expertise and then discusses the genesis of CC as a socio-ecological issue highlighting its parallel development with capitalism. It moves on to review institutional approaches to study the link between capitalist diversity and greenhouse gas emissions and outlines future research directions with emphasis on a possible reconciliation of Marxian and “degrowth” thought. Due to the lacking evidence for absolute decoupling of economic growth, material resource use and carbon emissions it is argued that all societies, whether socialist or capitalist, will need to deprioritize economic growth as policy goal in the course of the twenty-first century. International critical thought should be dedicated towards analyzing the structural challenges and opportunities in building a global steady-state economy as well as associated post-growth societies.