Population Control – the most effective way to reduce Carbon Emissions!
- Currently, more than 80 million people are added a year to our global population.
- As per the UN, without any action to control the population there will be 2 billion more people by 2050, and 3.5 billion by 2100.
- Having one fewer child reduces 58.6 tonnes of CO2-equivalent per person.
Why population control matters/ How population control reduces carbon emissions?
Population control and climate change are inextricably linked. Every additional person increases carbon emissions — the rich far more than the poor — and increases the number of climate change victims – the poor far more than the rich. With climate-changing at an unprecedented rate, population control is very important. As the population increases carbon emissions also increase.
While there are many reasons behind climate change, the population is only one. Personal lifestyle changes, policies to reduce and ultimately end the use of fossil fuels and developing alternative energy are all necessary, considering the time left for preventing catastrophic changes in climate is so short – now less than a decade, as per IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).
Whatever changes we make to prevent climate change and reduce carbon emissions, their positive impacts will be reduced and may even cancel out completely by adding hundreds of millions of new people as the population increases. Also, solutions such as reforestation will be more difficult to implement with more people needing food and land to live. Reducing the number of people being born is not a solution for climate change but it cuts future carbon emission effectively, permanently and it boosts the effectiveness of other solutions.
Having one fewer child is the most highly impactful way in which an individual can reduce carbon emissions. As per the principle suggested by Wynes, Seth, and Kimberly A Nicholas, each parent holds 50% responsibility for their child’s emissions, 25% for their grandchildren, and so forth. On this basis, calculating the total emissions for which each person would be responsible in future generations, it is estimated that over the long term, having one fewer child could be more than 20 times more effective than any other action. As the effect of having fewer children apply over several generations and these savings would not be immediate and other actions to reduce carbon emissions in the short term remain necessary.
Population Control Methods:
- Easy and Cheap Availability of Contraceptives: This will prevent unwanted pregnancies and births. The use of condoms and contraceptives should be promoted.
- Education: Education helps people to understand the risks associated with high population growth. An educated man and woman are able to understand the benefits of a small family.
- Medical Facilities: Rural people, in order to ensure that at least some of their kids survive tend to give birth to more and more kids thus contributing to the population growth. If provided with optimum medical facilities population rate will almost certainly decline.
- Providing Incentives: Incentives such as giving a certain sum of money to people with not more than two kids or free education for a single child, etc have proven to be very successful in controlling the population.
- Spreading Awareness: Government and non-governmental institutions should carry awareness campaigns to make people aware of how they will be unable to provide good nutrition, education, or medical facilities to their children if there are too many of them.
- Women Empowerment: Gender discrimination (preferring boy over a girl), results in people giving birth to kids in order to have more sons than daughters.
- Eradicating Poverty: Poor countries have the highest population growth. In developing countries of Asia and Africa, people give births to kids and sell them to rich people to get some money. Without concrete measures for growth and poverty eradication, other methods of population control may prove to be ineffective.
- Delayed Marriages: Marrying at an early age leads to long-span for giving birth and it also devoid people of education and awareness required to be sensitive towards understanding the consequences of raising too many children. A UN report has suggested that there would be a significant decline in the world population if the legal for marriage is made 20 years.
- Development: Lack of Development implies high poverty, high illiteracy, high discrimination, lack of awareness, lack of medical facilities, and thus in turn increased population growth. Ensuring the development of the whole population instead of a given segment of society would eliminate the challenge of population growth for once.
- Legislative Actions: Nothing can be achieved from these if family planning and use of contraception remains optional instead of mandatory. Strict legal steps should be taken to ensure that child marriage, education, the abolition of child labor, and beggary and family planning to have significant benefits from it.
I completely agree with the fact that population growth is the most major issue that we need to address to prevent climate change. Many people are getting aware of this issue and are having fewer children. As of now, we need 1.7 earths to provide us resources we need but if the situation continues to be the same then we would need 3 earths to fulfill our needs by 2050. In my opinion population control should be at the center and other ways to prevent climate change should go side by side because as mentioned above all the benefits from other ways like shifting to renewable energy would be nullified by population growth.
Just remember the clock is ticking very fast and we have very little time left to prevent catastrophic changes in the climate beyond which we would not be able to do anything to prevent climate change and we would head towards mass destruction.