Population and Climate Change
Climate change is the planet’s most critical environmental challenge, and has negative implications for food security, freshwater supply, and human health. The effects of climate change, including sea level rise, droughts, floods, and extreme weather, will only continue to worsen without immediate action.
There are clear synergies between population dynamics and climate change. Population growth contributes to climate change because each additional person causes emissions and increases the number of climate victims. While affluent populations cause the overwhelming majority of global emissions, low-income populations are the most at-risk for climate impacts. Rapid population growth in low-resource settings increases climate vulnerability and endangers more people who lack the resources necessary to readily adapt and recover.
In contrast, slowing population growth through rights-based interventions like increasing access to reproductive health care has profound implications for lowering emissions and meeting global sustainable development goals. Despite these connections, the integration of population and climate change into mainstream education remains limited.
Population Connection offers a variety of resources that clarify and explore the connections between population growth and climate change. These resources can be downloaded for free and are appropriate for college professors, teachers, students, and advocates of all kinds. We hope that this information raises awareness about climate impacts and future demographic trends, as well as sustainable development goals worldwide.
By considering population dynamics as an essential part of climate-related education and advocacy, we can build much-needed support for rights based, cost-effective solutions to climate change—such as access to reproductive health care, voluntary family planning options, girls’ education, and gender equity.
Use the drop-down menus below to search through our resources and find information by theme.
If you’re a professor and you’d like to have Hannah Evans, Population Connection Communications Manager, present to your college or university class via Zoom, please get in touch at email@example.com. Here’s the presentation Hannah gave to Population Connection members on Earth Day this year:
Browse literature exploring the many ways that humans impact the natural environment. This resource provides academic sources, research published by NGOs and government agencies, and relevant news articles—perfect for curating a course reading list for college students.
This PDF slide presentation gives an overview of some of the main connections between population and climate change. Key Words: Population, Climate Change, Climate Impacts, Vulnerability, Reproductive Health, Sustainable Development
This PDF slide deck presents an overview of some of the most important ways that human systems influence the natural environment. Key Words: Natural Systems, Ecosystem Services, Global Emissions, Population, Climate Change, Greenhouse Gases, Energy, Agriculture, Food Security, Deforestation, Renewable Energy
This PDF slide presentation discusses the importance of including family planning as a global climate intervention. Key Words: Family Planning, Climate Change, Rapid Population Growth, Sustainable Development, Health, Education, Women and Girls, Climate Vulnerability, Bangladesh
Browse literature on population growth and climate change. This resource provides academic sources, research published by NGOs and government agencies, and relevant news articles—perfect for curating a course reading list for college students.
Browse literature exploring family planning as a climate solution. This resource provides academic sources, research published by NGOs and government agencies, and relevant news articles—perfect for curating a course reading list for college students.
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Since 1968, Population Connection (formerly Zero Population Growth or ZPG) has been America's voice for population stabilization—we are the largest grassroots population organization in the United States! As a 501(c)(3) charity, all donations made to us are tax-deductible.
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