Access to sexual and reproductive health services, including contraception, can be seriously hampered by harmful effects of climate change - thereby limiting options for women and young people to plan their families and further hampering a community’s ability to mitigate or respond to climate change. Experts have also found that protecting adolescent SRHR is cost effective. Using recent data on emissions, program effectiveness, and program costs, climate change economists concluded that responding to the unmet need for family planning and supporting girls education are much less costly than low-carbon energy development options, including solar, wind, and nuclear power, second generation biofuels, and carbon capture and storage. Family planning and girls education programs were found to be cost-competitive with forest conservation and other improvements in forestry and agricultural practices.
Finally, in addition to being cost effective and a human rights imperative, empowering women to time their pregnancies would reduce carbon emissions significantly. This step alone would provide 8 to 15 percent of the reductions needed to avert climate change.