Population growth is a local and global issue. Like climate change, population requires local action in order to achieve global outcomes.
Population growth is a key driver of overconsumption worldwide. 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 for sustainable development.
Importantly, Sustainable Australia Party is opposed to coercive efforts to reduce fertility.
Current world population (including World Population Clock):
Provide leadership and support to countries experiencing rapid population growth, in order to help stabilise global population as soon as practicable, being at the United Nation’s low peak variant of around 9 billion by 2050.
To help achieve this Sustainable Australia Party will:
- Lead by example by stabilising Australia's population as soon as practicable (also see Population & Immigration (Australia) policy)
- 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 Australia's total family planning and reproductive health services foreign aid from $50 million (in 2016) to at least $1 billion
- Add 'Stabilise global population as soon as practicable' (or similar) as the United Nations' 18th Sustainable Development Goal
- Use international diplomacy and positions of influence within international bodies to highlight the current choice between a global population of 8-9 billion versus 15+ 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
"Some argue that it is not the numbers of people on Earth that count, but rather the way we consume and share. Whatever the politics and economics, the gross consumption level of billions of humans is, surely, the main cause of planetary change, especially since 1950." The Conversation
- 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.
- According to MSI Reproductive Choices, $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.