Effective family planning strategies that focus on well-being, education and empowerment not only lead to fewer greenhouse gas emissions (fewer people = fewer emissions), but also less stress on natural resources. Project Drawdown notes that the need for better family planning is global. Not only women in lower-income countries lack access to contraceptives, the need exists in richer countries as well - such as the U.S. where 45 percent of all pregnancies are unplanned. Family planning is an impactful strategy for improving the well-being of humans and thereby slowing climate change.
The stories in this collection (see below) offer examples successful reproductive healthcare programs. Botswana's fertility rates have fallen dramatically, thanks to comprehensive education and contraception programs that reach even rural areas. A nonprofit in Costa Rica is offering free contraception to women to help them break a cycle of poverty, and a program in Myanmar is breaking taboos by providing sex and gender education to young men and women. Also, by offering free, long-acting and reversible contraceptives, Colorado has halved teenage pregnancy and abortions. This solution is one of the Drawdown Ecochallenge actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.