Church leaders must go further than addressing climate change (OCT)

3 October 2007

Media Releases 2007

Church leaders are to be congratulated for their rallying cry on climate change but need

to address root causes, according to Sustainable Population Australia inc (SPA).

National President of SPA, Dr John Coulter, says that population growth is a major root

cause of climate change along with consumption and dependence on fossil fuels to run

the economy.

“It is obvious that any progress in terms of reducing per capital emissions will be negated

by a concomitant increase in population,” he says. “Thus to argue for action on climate

change and at the same time encourage population growth, as many church leaders do,

is hypocritical.

Dr Coulter says the Catholic Church, with its opposition to birth control, is particularly

culpable in this regard.

“Australian emissions on a per capita basis are 80 times that of a Bangladeshi and 330

times that of an Ethiopian. We have one of the highest emission rates per capita in the


“Thus to add another Australian to the world is far more damaging in environmental

terms than adding another Bangladeshi or Ethiopian. To actively encourage Australian

population growth through advocating $10,000 baby bonuses for the third child, as does

the church-endorsed Family First’s Senator Steve Fielding, is quite outrageous.

“Climate change is the major moral issue of our day,” Dr Coulter says. “And it is good

that the Church recognise it as such. Now they must recognise that further population

growth in a country like Australia is a moral issue as well.”

Further information:   Dr John Coulter: 08 8388 2153

Professor Garry Egger 0408 643 914


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