In this article on CNET, Should contraception qualify for carbon funds?, the argument is based on the theory that, according to a study by the London School of Economics, providing contraception would be the cheapest and most effective way to reduce carbon emissions worldwide between 2010 and 2050.
The report, "Fewer Emitters, Lower Emissions, Less Cost," determined that if contraception was made widely available between 2010 and 2050 to women and men around the world who wished to use it, the reduction in unwanted births could result in saving 34 gigatonnes (one billion tonnes) of carbon emissions. That's roughly 60 years worth of U.K. emissions or 6 years worth of U.S. emissions.
The cost for supplying, and distributing contraception over those 40 years would cost an estimated $220 billion, or $7 for each tonne of carbon emissions avoided. It's cheaper than the next most efficient low-carbon technology, wind power, which would cost $24 per tonne or $1 trillion to prevent the same amount (one billion tonnes) of carbon emissions from being produced, according to the report.
In its per-tonne cost analysis, the report also calculated $51 for solar, $57 to $83 for coal plants with carbon capture and storage, $92 for plug-in hybrid vehicles, and $131 for electric vehicles.
The contraception as carbon reduction conclusion was based on United Nations statistics that 40 percent of worldwide pregnancies are unintentional. If contraception was made available to people who wanted it, those unintentional births could be reduced by as much as 72 percent. Between 2010 and 2050, that would result in curbing the world population growth by half a billion people, according to the UN statistics.
That is a conservative estimate, according to the report, since the UN figures are based solely on the lack of contraception access for married couples, and did not include unintended pregnancy statistics for unmarried women.
So, what do you think? Should we focus more on population prevention or is it too hot a topic? It's certainly easier to discuss solar arrays and windfarms without too much of a moral quandary, although some could argue the impact on wildlife.
Would you like to see public funds going to better pregnancy prevention both in the U.S. and assistance abroad?
To read the rest of the article, you can check it out here.