Climate Change and Family Planning

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What is the most efficient way to reduce carbon emissions and limit climate change?

Family planning and female education, according to a recent paper by David Wheeler and Dan Hammer of the Center for Global Development:

Using recent data on emissions, program effectiveness and program costs, we estimate the cost of carbon emissions abatement via family planning and female education. We compare our estimates with the costs of numerous technical abatement options that have been estimated by Nauclér and Enkvist in a major study for McKinsey and Company (2009). We find that the population policy options are much less costly than almost all of the options Nauclér and Enkvist provide for low-carbon energy development, including solar, wind, and nuclear power, second-generation biofuels, and carbon capture and storage.


Owen Barder, a Fellow at the Center for Global Development and Director of aidInfo, discussed the findings on his blog.