Population Matters has responded to the United Kingdom All-Party Parliamentary Group on Population, Development and Reproductive Health‘s invitation to a consultation on Population Dynamics and the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
In our response we argue that the United Nations’ failure to acknowledge that population growth adversely affects all aspects of sustainable development until now is lamentable. Each additional person increases the human impact on the natural environment so it is essential that those setting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) address population issues. Failure to assign high priority to population-stabilization programmes — particularly those adressing women’s empowerment, family planning and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) — will prevent the SDGs from being achieved.
If population growth had previously been acknowledged as a significant contributory factor to problems like famine, disease, war and environmental or economic collapse, it is likely that women’s rights to family planning and SRHR would have been prioritized.
In our response, we highlight the strong link between population and climate change. Three of our recent research projects have been focused on this link.
Our recommendation for the United Kingdom’s Post-2015 policy is that the government in the European Union and United Nations seek the reinstatement of the draft text on the language and targets on population stabilization proposed in May 2013 by Professor Jeffery Sachs. The draft text was dropped following opposition from some conservative United Nations Member States and nervousness within the United Nations Secretariat.