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2: Population and Climate Change
2: Population and Climate Change

2: Population and Climate Change

According to a 2017 paper ‘Having one less child’ is the single most effective climate action you can take. 

Together with guest moderator Anja Kollmuss, Dr. Elisabeth Ignasiak untangles this deeply emotional and highly controversial topic. We look at the history of population control, the research on population and climate change, economic implications and women’s rights. And we have a frank discussion on the question: ‘Should I have fewer children to fight climate change?’ 

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Thank you

Thank you to Paul Lautenschläger, the sound engineer for this episode.


You can find the episode transcript here.

History of population control

Population statistics

  • World Population from 10,000 BCE to 2021; Data from Gapminder (v6), HYDE (v3.2), United Nations Population Division (2019) via Our World in Data. Max Roser and Esteban Ortiz-Ospina (2019) – “Population, 10,000 BCE to 2021”. Published online at Retrieved from: ‘’ [Online Resource] 
  • World Population Prospects 2022 – Summary of Results by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs


Environmental and climate impacts of overpopulation

Economic consequences of declining populations


Women’s rights

Should we have fewer children to fight climate change?

About this podcast

How to Make a Difference is produced and hosted by Dr. Elisabeth Ignasiak. Music by Valentina Gribanova.

Listen to the Trailer for a preview and check out the other episodes!