President Clinton and the Clinton Foundation are looking for input on their new climate initiative. Enter your request (in the form of a question) that population issues be included at http://clintonfoundation.org/what-we-do/clinton-climate-initiative/contact/. The deadline for your input is Thursday, May 21. Bill Clinton will answer four questions in a video on their website.
During the campaign last year, he spoke out about population, so he knows it’s an issue. But he may not have considered that the projected growth of the world’s population from the current 6.8 billion to 9.2 billion by 2050, even in mostly poor countries, is the climate equivalent of adding two United States to the planet. And he may have also overlooked that growth of the U.S. population by 3 million per year (driven by high immigration, as well as birth rates slightly above replacement levels) is the primary driver of growth in output of greenhouse gasses by the U.S.
The world’s population is growing by 82 million people every year. That means 225,000 people are added to the planet every day, all of whom need access to food, water, housing, jobs, education – and are also emitting carbon! Each additional human being increases the base of aggregate demand for the Earth’s natural resources and open space – demand that no amount of conservation can completely offset. Cutting per capita carbon emissions does little if the number of “capitas” keeps expanding. Reducing groundwater consumption at the household level does little if the number of households keeps growing. What are the foundation’s plans for addressing the population part of the climate change equation?
Additionally, while science and technology play a large role, getting people to adopt more sustainable behaviors is one of the biggest challenges we face today and it is critical to addressing the climate crisis. Behavior change communications, such as the strategies implemented by Population Media Center around the world, have been uniquely effective in bringing about behavior change on a mass scale. What are the foundation’s plans for integrating behavior change communications strategies?
See Bill Clinton’s letter below, which was sent to Katie Elmore on May 19:
I’m writing today to share some exciting news — and invite you to participate in a unique opportunity.
Hours ago in Seoul, South Korea, I announced a bold new Climate Initiative program — the Climate Positive Development Program, developed in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council.
We’re starting with 16 projects across the world, from Brazil to India. These developments will commit to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions to below zero, setting a groundbreaking standard for all cities to follow.
This is a momentous step in my Foundation’s mission to combat climate change. To mark the occasion, I’m inviting supporters like you to ask me questions about our climate work. I’ll answer four selected questions in a video response.
What would you like to ask me? Submit your climate question before the Thursday deadline.
Are you on Facebook? Ask your question on my new Facebook page.
I’m in Seoul right now for the C40 Summit, an annual meeting of some of the world’s largest cities that are committed to addressing climate change. My Climate Initiative has partnered with the C40 to transform cities into more sustainable places.
Why focus on cities? Half of the world’s population lives in cities, and that number is growing rapidly, exacerbating the climate crisis.
The Climate Positive Development Program will establish a new global benchmark for real estate developments — and support a good quality of life — through collaboration with local governments and innovations in technology.
We’ll transform neighborhoods and lives, and we’ll prove that a Climate Positive world is possible.
Our work wouldn’t be possible without the generosity and involvement of supporters like you. Thank you for your commitment to my Foundation — and don’t forget to submit your question to me before the deadline.
Current World Population
Net Growth During Your Visit