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Population Media Center's Work at COP26

November 12, 2021 • Rights of Women & Girls, Environment, Global Sustainability

Wall mural with climate themes. Credit Kiara Worth.

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP26, took place in Glasgow, Scotland from October 31 to November 13, 2021. Leaders and organizations from around the world went to Glasgow to demand action on climate change. PMC did our part to influence the thinking and debates that took place there. Our involvement in COP26 highlighted the importance of family planning and gender-just climate solutions, a population related angle rarely discussed on the global stage. In this blog, you can access to two recordings of COP26 events that PMC either participated in or sponsored.


On November 8, PMC President and Founder Bill Ryerson took part in a COP26 side event titled "On the road to a just transition: lessons from local gender-just climate solutions." Bill emphasized the value of family planning and reproductive health as a long term contributor to climate sustainability.

Watch Bill's five-minute presentation here.


PMC was proud to sponsor a COP26 event moderated by CNN International Correspondent Nima Elgagir. At this side event, global experts, ministers, and youth advocates joined a high-level discussion on why removing barriers to family planning and girls’ education is crucial to accelerating climate adaptation and resilience. PMC strongly believes we have created something to build on with this event, especially in the relationships and perceptions of the partners we were able to help bring together.

Watch the event recording here.


Population Media Center holds a long-term vision of a much smaller, more ecologically right-sized number of humans on the planet in the future. The best way to move towards this more sustainable future is by sparking immediate and transformative opportunities for the people of today, especially women and girls.

In terms of our efforts at COP26, we feel this point was made! We also know that creating the conditions for population growth to slow down, stop, and eventually reverse cannot be expected to pay immediate and substantial demographic dividends at the global scale. Population work is not an undisputable priority action for near term mitigation of the greenhouse gas emissions emergency.

But, when we think of global sustainability — a human civilization evolved to be compatible with flourishing biodiversity and in dynamic equilibrium with the energetic balance of Earth — we should be thinking about thousands of years. Not a few decades or until the next election. As always, the most critical factors in determining the future population size of humanity are the family size decisions of today.

With our well-understood, affordable, and progressive ways to decrease family size outcomes, PMC is one of the very few non-profit charities that both recognize the challenges of human population as it relates to a sustainable future AND has investable programs, in the field, every day, all around the world. Doing good work, making a difference, and inspiring entire communities to choose a healthier, more equitable, and flourishing world for all. Please make an investment in a more sustainable future today!

Picture of Joe Bish

Written by Joe Bish

Joe is the Director of Issue Advocacy at Population Media Center. He holds a Master of Science in Environmental Advocacy and Organizing from Antioch University New England.



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