GP suggests limiting births to beat climate change

UK couples can help combat climate change by having only two children or at least one less than they intended, a GP has proposed.

Writing in an editorial in the BMJ today, Dr Pip Hayes, a GP from Exeter, Devon, along with Professor John Guillebaud, a reproductive health expert, call on UK doctors to break their silence on the links between population, family planning and climate change.

They say that each new birth in the UK will be responsible for 160 times more greenhouse gas emissions than one in Ethiopia.

They conclude that most women in low resource settings want to be able to plan fewer children than they have, but are prevented from doing so because of barriers such a lack of empowerment, and that doctors should do more to help women receive access to family planning.

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

BMJ Online 2008

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