THE PROBLEM is simple: the world’s rising population is responsible, among other consequences, for more greenhouse gas emissions, the reduction of resources such as food and water, and greater deforestation. In other words, the bigger the families, the worst off we’re all going to be.

The point is not to ban people from having children, but to give every one the option to not have large families. In most of the developed world, women have access to contraception and have the possibility to terminate pregnancies, but there is still a lot of work to be done everywhere.

According to the Huffington Post, “in Pakistan, where just a third of married women use contraception, half of all pregnancies – 4.2 million each year – are unintended.” Giving every woman the possibility to control their pregnancies has been pinpointed as a crucial aspect of slowing down climate change.

International climate change funds could be allocated to creating family planning projects in areas of the world where contraception is not widely available, explains Laurie Goering for the Huffington Post. Financing such projects could not only help our planet, but could also greatly empower women all over the world.

So, on Valentine’s day, have protected sex and then congratulate yourself. You will have helped 7 billion people.

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