Population and adaptation to climate change: a complementary analysis for the UNFCCC

Roger Martin, Population Matters

It is clear from analysis of the NAPAs, from the Joint Position Statement of the Population and Climate Change African Forum (PACCAF), and indeed from common sense that population growth makes all problems of climate change adaptation (and mitigation) harder, and ultimately impossible, to solve. There is thus an urgent need for greater priority and hence resources for the solution -sexual and reproductive health programmes, including universal access to family planning and associated women’s education and empowerment programmes, from both donors and recipients alike. But these will not be forthcoming until the scale, scope and urgency of the population growth problem is widely and formally acknowledged. A text recognizing the population/climate change link endorsed in the UNFCCC talks would be a great step towards sustainable populations in Africa. This paper traces efforts to secure such a text, the obstacles, and the range of supporting arguments; and makes a recommendation.

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Presented in Session 58: Population and adaptation to climate change