Population is a local and global issue. Like climate change, population requires local action in order to achieve global outcomes. Importantly, Sustainable Australia is opposed to coercive efforts to reduce fertility.
Provide leadership and support to countries experiencing rapid population growth, in order to help stabilise global population at (or as close as possible to) the United Nation’s low peak variant of around 8 billion by 2050.
To help achieve this Sustainable Australia Party will:
- Tie foreign aid wherever possible to the improvement of environmental and economic sustainability, with a particular focus on female empowerment and education, including opportunities for women and men to access reproductive health and voluntary family planning services to help prevent unwanted pregnancies.(1)
- Increase its total family planning and reproductive health services foreign aid from $50 million to at least $500 million in the 2019+ term of Federal Parliament, and to at least $1 billion by 2025.(2)
- Use international diplomacy and positions of influence within international bodies to highlight the current choice between a global population of 7-8 billion versus 17 billion by 2100. This would include lobbying other nations and the United Nations in order to fully recognise and promote the impact global population growth has on resource scarcity, deforestation, overfishing, ocean waste, biodiversity loss, climate change, regional conflict, global insecurity and refugee migration.
- Encourage every country to take primary responsibility for its own population size.
- Support nations/regions experiencing rapid population growth to transition to more stable population levels, rather than moving people to lower density regions to relieve population pressures. The latter policy perversely facilitates net global population growth through likely further growth in both nations/regions.
- Some 222 million women who would like to avoid or delay pregnancy lack access to effective family planning. This accounts for a significant proportion of the world’s annual population growth of around 80 million. By stabilising their populations through voluntary family planning and empowerment of women, nations help protect their food, water and energy security, improve infant and maternal health, maximise resilience to climate change, avoid labour exploitation, and free up investment to build prosperity and develop.
- According to Marie Stopes International, $5 could provide a developing nation woman with 10 years of IUD contraception (50c p.a.), freeing them to earn an income for their family. $60,000 could help 120,000 women in their homeland over four years, and tackle a key root cause of forced migration – rapid population growth. According to the Gates Foundation, voluntary family planning is one of the most cost-effective investments a country can make in its future. Every dollar spent on family planning can save governments up to 6 dollars that can be spent on improving health, housing, water, and other public services.
- Australia’s foreign aid budget for 2012-13 was around $5 billion.