During a 2013 interview with Climate One, United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres said we should “make every effort,” to reduce the world’s population.
Climate One founder Greg Dalton: A related issue is fertility rates in population. A lot of people in energy and environmental circles don’t wanna go near that because it’s politically charged. It’s not their issue. But isn’t it true that stopping the rise of the population would be one of the biggest levers and driving the rise of green house gases?
Figueres: I mean we all know that we expect nine billion, right, by 2050. So, yes, obviously less people would exert less pressure on the natural resources.
Dalton: So is nine billion a forgone conclusion? That’s like baked in, done, no way to change that?
Figueres: Well there again, there is pressure in the system to go toward that; we can definitely change those, right? We can definitely change those numbers and really should make every effort to change those numbers because we are already, today, already exceeding the planet’s planetary carrying capacity, today. To say nothing of adding more population that is really going to overextend our capacity. So yes we should do everything possible. But we cannot fall into the very simplistic opinion of saying just by curtailing population then we’ve solved the problem. It is not either/or, it is an and/also.