Thursday, June 25, 2009

Invest in girls to fight global warming

Key to innovation and problem solving is looking at things from a different angle. Last year I did a post about how modestly changing your diet can not only improve your health -- it can also reduce carbon emissions as much as buying a hybrid:
Trimming the amount of meat Americans eat would not only help the planet — a mere 20 percent reduction is the equivalent of switching from a Camry to a Prius — but would also be likely to reduce obesity, cancer and heart disease.
Few people look at problems from a different angle better than David Wheeler, a former colleague at the World Bank who is now at the Center for Global Development. David was among the first to note that fighting global warming will require major efforts in developing countries, who are now the major - and fastest growing - source of carbon emissions (more here.)

Now my colleague Bill Brower reports on a talk David gave recently. According to Bill:
David calculated that investing in methods to slow population growth (educating girls and family planning) in developing countries could lead to greenhouse gas savings on the order of switching all coal-fired power plants to wind power—at a far lower cost.
There is no paper yet on this; I will post it when available. In the meantime, if you want to "green" your giving, consider supporting a "Girl Effect" project.