Population Matters Update - August 2015 Part 1

Population awareness

On 29 July, the United Nations Population Division released its 24th round of official population estimates and projections for the world and all individual countries.

A mother with her baby in a refugee camp

The United Nations Population Fund’s theme for World Population Day on 11 July drew attention to the importance of meeting the needs of vulnerable women and girls during humanitarian emergencies, including securing their safety and ensuring access to sexual and reproductive health care.

The European Union’s population figures for 2014 have been released. A population increase in 16 countries and a decrease in 12 countries resulted in an overall increase of approximately 200,000.

The UK government’s Summer Budget limits the Child Tax Credit to the first two children per household for those born after April 2017.

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Family planning & women's rights

We have issued a briefing calling for improved access to emergency contraception in the United Kingdom.

Colorado has successfully reduced the birth rate among teens

Male contraceptive injections will progress to human trials next year, but public availability is still far off, as pharmaceutical companies have been criticised for underinvestment in new methods of contraception.

In the US, Colorado state’s experiment with free long-acting reversible contraceptives — i.e. intrauterine devices and implants — has yielded a 40 per cent reduction in the birth rate among teenagers.

In the UK, a bill to make Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education a statutory requirement in all state-funded schools, which was introduced by Green Party Member of Parliament Caroline Lucas, has passed its first reading. The Education Secretary has yet to take a clear position on the legislation.

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Environmental conservation

Over the past decade, increasing global average surface temperatures have slowed. A NASA study attributes this to heat trapped in the Pacific and Indian oceans.

It's official: tree-lined streets make us feel healthier

Research conducted in Toronto, Canada has revealed that the presence of 10 or more trees in a city block improves health self-perceptions as effectively as an individual’s C $10,000 (£5,000) income increase or being seven years younger.

Researchers at King’s College London have published a report that indicates air pollution in London kills between 3,000 and 10,000 people each year. All but two London boroughs were found to exceed the European Union’s recommended limits for toxic gas.

In Iraq, water shortages are threatening the Mesopotamian marshes, which once comprised the largest wetland ecosystem of Western Eurasia.

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Sustainable lifestyles

We have issued a briefing on population and housing. A holistic approach is required to solve the UK’s housing crisis, including incorporating population trends into long term planning.

The Population Speakout campaign is petitioning Pope Francis about contraception

Following the Pope’s encyclical on climate change, which rejected population concern, a petition has been launched calling on the Catholic Church to end its opposition to contraception.

Explore the world’s energy system with the new Global Calculator, which is part of a call for a green technology revolution to change the way we produce and consume energy.

A new research paper indicates that the thermodynamic equilibrium of Earth, which is necessary for the existence of life, is being destabilised by depletion of the global living biomass.

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Population Matters Update is edited by Georgia Stevenson, formatted by Amanda Katz and distributed by Julie Lewis.


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