Human population, social justice, and climate policy


We illustrate how human population has been mostly ignored with regard to climate policy by conducting a systematic review of the literature in the context of social justice and six transformative steps for climate change mitigation. Despite this, implementing socially just population policies could make substantial contributions to climate mitigation and adaptation while also promoting social justice and gender equity. We detail how this is possible using a number of policy examples, including increasing the availability of voluntary family planning services and improving education for girls and young women.

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We thank John Guillebaud and Jan Greguš for reviewing an early draft of this paper.

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Correspondence to Christopher Wolf.

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Handled by Alexander Gonzalez Flor, University of the Philippines Open University Faculty of Information and Communication Studies, Philippines.

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Wolf, C., Ripple, W.J. & Crist, E. Human population, social justice, and climate policy. Sustain Sci (2021).

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  • Climate mitigation
  • Climate adaptation
  • Population policy