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Contraception is 'greenest' technology

Family planning cheapest way to combat climate change

Photograph of condomsContraception is almost five times cheaper than conventional green technologies as a means of combating climate change, according to research published this week(Wednesday 9 September).

Each $7 (£4) spent on basic family planning over the next four decades would reduce global CO2 emissions by more than a tonne found Thomas Wire, a postgraduate student in Operational Research at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). To achieve the same result with low-carbon technologies would cost a minimum of $32 (£19). The UN estimates that 40 per cent of all pregnancies worldwide are unintended.

The report, Fewer Emitters, Lower Emissions, Less Cost, was commissioned by the Optimum Population Trust. The study, based on the principle that 'fewer people will emit fewer tonnes of carbon dioxide', models the consequences of meeting all 'unmet need' for family planning, defined as the number of women who wish to delay or terminate childbearing but who are not using contraception

It concludes that 'considered purely as a method of reducing future CO2 emissions', family planning is more cost-effective than leading low-carbon technologies. It recommends that family planning should be seen as one of the primary methods of emissions reduction.

Download Fewer Emitters, Lower Emissions, Less Cost here (PDF)

Click here to read the full press release from the Optimum Population Trust.

Contact: David Nicholson-Lord, policy director, Optimum Population Trust, 07976 370221, info@optiumumpopulation.org 

10 September 2009