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How do population dynamics affect greenhouse gases and climate change? Will urbanization and an ageing population help or hinder efforts to adapt to a warming world? And could better reproductive health care and improved relations between women and men make a difference in the fight against climate change? Find the answers in the State of World Population 2009.
The whole world has been talking about carbon credits, carbon trading and emissions targets. But not enough has been said about the people whose activities contribute to those emissions or about those who will be most affected by climate change, especially women.
The climate-change debate needs to be reframed, putting people at the centre. Unless climate policies take people into account, they will fail to mitigate climate change or to shield vulnerable populations from the potentially disastrous impacts.
Embargoed for release until 12:00 GMT on 18 November 2009<br />
Reshaping the climate change debate<br /><ul><li>UNFPA’s State of World Population 2009 is about the human dimension of climate change, going beyond technology as the problem or the solution.
People, after all, cause climate change and will have to live with and adapt to it—some in harsher circumstances than others, despite having contributed much less to the problem.
Among the most vulnerable people—and potentially the most effective agents for positive change—are women.</li></li></ul><li>The human dimension<br /><ul><li>People cause climate change. People are affected by it. People need to adapt to it. And only people have the power to stop it.
Technology alone cannot solve global climate change.
Our future as humanity depends on unleashing the full potential of both women and men to bring about change.</li></li></ul><li>Chapter 1<br />Elements of climate change<br /><ul><li>Recent climate change stems mainly from human activities.
The climate will continue changing, with future warming occurring at a speed partly determined by humanity’s success or failure in reducing emissions and, ultimately, greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.</li></li></ul><li>Chapter 2<br />At the Brink<br />We may be at the brink of catastrophic climate change, with temperature increases already capable of causing sea-level rise and droughts and storms of a severity that could make human development nearly impossible, especially among the poor. <br />
Chapter 3<br />On the Move<br />Drought, severe weather and sea-level rise may result in large-scale population movements, mostly within national boundaries.Governments need to begin to prepare. Migration is an understandable adaptive response to climate change.<br />
Chapter 4<br />Building Resilience<br /><ul><li>Marginalization of and discrimination against women and the lack of attention to the ways gender inequality hampers development, health, equity and overall human well-being all undermine countries’ resilience to climate change.
Resilience is most likely to grow in societies in which all people can go to school, access health services, enjoy equal protection of the law and participate fully in directing their own lives and the destinies of the communities and nations.</li></li></ul><li>Chapter 5<br />Mobilizing for Change<br />“Women have the power to mobilize against climate change, but this potential can be realized only through policies that empower them. It also shows the required support that would allow women to fully contribute to adaptation, mitigation and building resilience to climate change.”<br />
Chapter 6<br />Five steps<br />Back from the brink<br />Improving women’s status relative to men would help unleash the potential of half of humanity to lower emissions and build social resilience to climate change<br />