By Hilary White

LONDON, November 19, 2009 ( – The fight against “climate change” can be won with the distribution of more free condoms and decreases in population, especially in the developing areas of the world, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has said in a report.

“Women with access to reproductive health services … have lower fertility rates that contribute to slower growth in greenhouse gas emissions.”

While the UNFPA acknowledged it had no actual evidence of a connection between population increase and climate change, the report insists there is no doubt that “people cause climate change” through CO2 emissions.

“The linkages between population and climate change are in most cases complex and indirect.” Nevertheless, the report said, “As the growth of population, economies and consumption outpaces the Earth's capacity to adjust, climate change could become much more extreme and conceivably catastrophic.”

Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, the UNFPA's executive director, told a news conference in London that although the largest amount of CO2  emissions do not come from the developing world, the organisation would continue to focus its population control efforts there, saying that women and the poor will be the worst hit in the coming climatological disasters.

“Our impending climate disaster is perhaps the most inequitable threats of our time,” the UNFPA's Richard Kollodge told journalists.

But not everyone is as convinced. A Times poll released last week showed that less than half the UK's population believes human activity is responsible for climate change.

The Times says that only 41 per cent accept as a scientific fact that global warming is taking place and is largely man-made. 32 per cent believe the link is unproven and 8 per cent said it is anti-human environmentalist propaganda. 15 per cent said they do not believe the world is warming.

In the run-up to the Copenhagen climate change summit set for next month, others are offering suggestions that do not involve artificial population control. The head of the US Forest Service, Tom Tidwell, pointed out that trees consume carbon dioxide and emit oxygen.

Tidwell told a Senate panel on Wednesday that his agency is trying to manage forests to combat climate change and that politicians might want to consider the benefits of planting more trees.

“It is time to manage the nation's forests to address climate change and unlock their potential,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., the panel's chairman.

Read related LSN coverage:

Condoms, Contraception, Abortion “Cheapest Way to Combat Climate Change”: London School of Economics