Population growth is an issue that transcends age, race, religion and borders. It touches on every environmental issue facing our planet — clean water, energy usage, public lands and wilderness use, endangered species, raw materials and food.
A growing population in a habitat with diminishing resources is not only detrimental, but is deadly. Right now, world population stands at 7.3 billion and while experts used to believe it would level off at around 8-9 billion, there now seems to be no end in sight. Projections are for 11-12 billion humans by 2100.
Smaller populations in developed countries would have the most beneficial impact on climate change because of super-sized consumption and emissions. It would have the most beneficial impact on biodiversity in the developing world, where population is growing the most.
A recent study shows that global temperature rise is in lockstep with population growth – an additional percentage point of human population coincides with an additional 2 degrees Fahrenheit in average global temperatures, according to economist David Rosnick at the Center for Economic and Policy Research. 
A new report from the University of California, San Francisco’s Bixby Centre for Global Reproductive Health states that access to family planning services is a cost-effective strategy to addressing population growth, food insecurity and climate change.
Voluntary family planning is a cost-effective way to improve world food security and slow climate change. 
Another recent study estimates that slowing population growth could provide 16-29% of the emissions reductions necessary by 2050.
There are many positive economic and social policies that can promote a transition to lower birth rates, including more security in old age; education of girls and women and increased economic opportunities for them, as well as affordable contraception and reproductive choice; lower infant and child mortality; and increased literacy, education levels, and productivity generally. 
It is said it would cost an estimated $9.4 billion annually to meet the unmet need for family planning — less than 5 percent of the $209 billion annually estimated to meet the need for food in developing countries. It’s estimated that providing family planning services to the 225 million women worldwide who want access to modern contraception but are unable to get it, would prevent 52 million unintended pregnancies each year. 
In Pakistan, for example, just a third of married women use contraception and half of all pregnancies are unintended, according to the Population Reference Bureau, reports Reuters.
Ethiopia already includes family planning in its climate action plan. Providing the 222 million women in developing countries with contraception would prevent 54 million unintended pregnancies at a relatively modest cost of $4 billion a year, reports the NY Times.
If women in sub-Saharan Africa had 2.1 children in 2050, down from 5.4 today, providing food for the region would be much easier. It would spare remaining forests, substantially reducing carbon entering the atmosphere, while protecting crucial habitat for species like great apes.
We can no longer ignore that rampant human population growth and overconsumption are driving species extinct. We can’t continue on this same path and still hope to have a planet that’s ultimately livable for people and wildlife,” says Stephanie Feldstein, director of the Population and Sustainability program at the Center for Biological Diversity. 
References: 1. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marc-ross/overpopulation-the-enviro_b_6549804.html (January 27th, 2015)
2. http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/26136 (February 4th, 2015)
WRITE TO YOUR NEWSPAPER ABOUT HOW POVERTY, WOMAN’S RIGHTS AND EDUCATION ARE ALL PART OF THE CLIMATE CHANGE SITUATION. IF THESE ISSUES ARE ADDRESSED, THE WORLD WILL MOVE NATURALLY TOWARD A LOWER BIRTH RATE.