(November 2016) The 22nd session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) is in Marrakesh, Morocco from Nov. 7 to Nov. 18, 2016. This year’s climate summit is expected to focus on figuring out how to implement the December 2015 Paris Agreement, which aims to prevent the world’s temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius and help countries adapt to a changing climate. Remarkably, the Paris Agreement entered into force in less than a year, on Nov. 4, 2016, after the threshold for ratification (by over 55 countries accounting for at least 55 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions) was passed.
Global leaders and decisionmakers promoted/signed on to the Paris Agreement as a roadmap to address climate change mitigation, adaptation, and financing through country-level commitments—known as nationally determined contributions or NDCs—that reflect a country’s promise to reduce emissions levels and pursue climate-smart development.
A crucial aspect of the Paris Agreement is enhancing financial mechanisms so that developing countries can better adapt to climate change. One climate adaptation strategy—lesser known to both reproductive health and climate advocates—is the provision of voluntary family planning, which was identified in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report as a cost-effective adaptation strategy in 2014. As countries generate and refine their National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), reproductive health and family planning advocates are urging country-level policymakers to follow the lead of countries like Uganda and Ethiopia that link population dynamics and climate change in their NAPs and recognize voluntary rights-based family planning as a way to help women and their families adapt to climate change.
Population Reference Bureau (PRB) has written several reports, working papers, and briefs and developed toolkits and multimedia products that communicate both the broad and specific links between population dynamics and the environment, family planning, climate change, and resilience. These products are valuable to increase cross-sectoral dialogue among researchers, policy experts, and decisionmakers and encourage everyone to #ThinkFamilyPlanning at the COP22 in Marrakesh and beyond.