I’ve written before about which types of birth controls are
the most sustainable (condoms), but according to a British study, family planning and contraception are also the best
methods for reducing carbon emissions. Additionally, as this article in the San Francisco Crhonicle notes, they’re cheaper, with every $7 spent on basic family planning can reduce a metric ton of emissions, compared to the $32 per metric ton using green technologies.
According to Roger Martin, chair of the Optimum Population Trust, which commissioned the study, "It’s always been obvious that total emissions depend on the number of emitters as well as their individual emissions–the carbon tonnage can’t shoot down, as we want, while the population keeps shooting up."
The goal is to reduce unintended pregnancies (the UN estimates that 40% of worldwide pregnancies, or 200 million, are unintended) through education and with cheaper, more accessible contraception. This can allegedly lower the number by 72%.
The report recommends non-coercive population reduction policies, and doesn’t recommend abortion. Despite this, LifeNews.com claims that the researchers are "targeting people who have children as being responsible for destroying the environment." LifeNews also falsely claims that the report recommends abortion.
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But it seems like a perfectly reasonable goal to promote
contraception and sex education, especially with the added bonus of environmental sustainability.