Meet Big Baby, our 7m tall baby balloon, whose job is to highlight the impact of our growing numbers on the planet.
Each of us adds to global greenhouse gas emissions, so when we choose to have fewer kids, that helps fight the climate crisis.
“From protecting our forests to changing our diets, as a society and as individuals there are many things we need to do to help avert climate catastrophe. One of those is to have an open, rational conversation about our population and our family sizes.”
– PM Patron Chris Packham
Making the link
With our population fast approaching 8 billion people, and predicted to grow by around 3 billion more this century, the strain on the planet has never been greater. The things we all need for a decent life, including food, housing and energy, all produce climate change-causing emissions. Climate change is widely recognised as the most important threat to humanity today. We need to make many profound changes as individuals and as societies to tackle it. One of those is to recognise the crucial link between increasing emissions and ever more consumers.
People in developed countries produce many times more carbon emissions than people in developing countries, who are suffering the effects of climate change the most. That injustice must end. Our governments must act to slash emissions as soon as possible, and we must all choose more sustainable lifestyles.
A key 2017 study suggested that one of the most effective actions individuals in high-income countries can take to cut their carbon emissions over the long term is to have one fewer child. More and more people who can make that choice are now doing that.
Big Baby in London
GIVING EVERYONE THE CHOICE
While the richest of us are responsible for climate change, as more and more people escape poverty, their carbon emissions go up, too. That’s why actions to reduce population growth everywhere are vital.
In many countries, women are not free to choose when and how many children to have. However, there are positive, human rights-based solutions. Research shows that empowering women and girls through education and the provision of modern, voluntary family planning improves their lives, gives them that choice, and reduces population growth. In 2020, the international study of climate change solutions, Project Drawdown, found that these empowering population actions were one of the top five solutions to tacking the climate crisis.
In November 2019, more than 11,000 scientists from 153 countries declared a Climate Emergency. In their paper, they called for stabilising and, “ideally”, reducing global population through positive means, including removing barriers to family planning, achieving gender equality, and improving education, to avert the worst climate impacts. This Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency has now been backed by over 14,000 scientists.
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“The climate crisis that now threatens life on Earth as we know it results from a combination of different human activities, including the pollution of land, air and water, our reckless burning of fossil fuels, the destruction of forests, extreme poverty, and the unsustainable life styles of so many of us. And all of this is impacted by the relentless growth of human populations and their livestock. Educating and empowering women and girls and providing family planning information enables more people to choose the size of their families. And choosing to have fewer children is one of the most important choices we can make.”
– PM Patron Dame Jane Goodall
“When we discussed having children, we decided that having just one was the best way to guarantee a sustainable future for our child. Our daughter is now 4 years old and we genuinely feel that this has been the best decision.”
– Gregory, father of one
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Our vision is of a future in which our population co-exists in harmony with nature and prospers on a healthy planet, to the benefit of all. Learn more about our work and how to get involved.