Improving Access to Voluntary Family Planning Also Improves Food Security and Contributes to Climate Stabilization
J. Joseph Speidel, University of California, San Francisco
Sarah Raifman, University of California, San Francisco
Kirsten M.J. Thompson, University of California, San Francisco
Long-term environmental, consumption, and population trends undermine world food availability and climate stability. Nearly 850 million people in the world are food insecure and global greenhouse gas emissions have risen to record levels. Meeting the global need for family planning would prevent an additional 54 million unintended pregnancies annually in developing countries, slow population growth and lower pressure to increase agriculture and meat production, the source of nearly one-third of greenhouse gas emissions. A transition to smaller families by 2050 could bring a 16-29% reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions estimated to be necessary to keep global temperatures from causing serious impacts. To fully fund family planning programs, an increase in funds of $4.1 billion annually is needed to reach a total of $8.1 billion. This needed investment is less than 4% of the $209 billion annual expenditure the FAO estimates is necessary for food security between now and 2050.