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Population Matters flies giant inflatable baby in Cardiff

Population Matters flies giant inflatable baby to highlight the impact of population growth as we reach 8 billion people milestone

On the day that the UN announces we have reached 8 billion people on the planet, a 7 metre high inflatable baby is being flown at Bute Park, Cardiff, to highlight the message that our growing human population is a major contributor to climate change and biodiversity loss, and that having fewer children is one of the most effective steps that people can take in fighting it.

Big Baby is being brought to the Welsh capital by the charity Population Matters as part of its campaign to highlight the importance of population and family size in driving, and tackling, the climate crisis and other environmental and social challenges we are facing.

It also comes the week ahead of Wales Climate Week, which aims to bring together individuals, communities, environmental groups, academics, businesses and the public sector for important conversations on climate change. Cardiff was recently identified as Britain’s most at risk city for climate change flooding with up to 33,000 properties in the city at risk of flood by 2050.

Carrying a toy aeroplane and wearing a bib saying “8 billion and counting”, Big Baby will inform activists, politicians and the public that, for Brits who can make the choice, having one fewer child is one of the most effective single actions they can take over the long term to cut the emissions they are responsible for.

Population Matters is also calling on the governments and negotiators gathered at COP27 this week to include ethical and empowering population solutions in their climate mitigation strategies.  Research shows that empowering women and girls through education and access to modern, voluntary family planning improves their lives, gives them choice over family size, and reduces population growth. Because of that, the international Project Drawdown study found that it is one of the top three available policy solutions to tackling the climate crisis.

Population Matters Director Robin Maynard says: “As we reach this landmark moment of 8 billion people on Earth, Big Baby is a humorous prompt for people to think seriously about their individual choices. More of us are demanding more of our planet than it can sustainably provide.  Overall we’re using 1.8 planet’s worth of natural resources each year – only possible through asset-stripping and because some of us take more than our fair share.  The UK’s take, our ecological footprint, makes us a nation of 10-tonne King Kongs!

Reducing and rebalancing excessive consumption is essential, but so too is slowing population growth. Empowering women everywhere to choose smaller families, combined with universal education for girls brings a double-divided of enhancing individual life-opportunities and cutting more carbon dioxide than from all onshore and offshore windpower.

In the UK, choosing a smaller family is the most effective eco-action to cool our planet – 20 times more impactful than any others routinely suggested. That’s our King Kong-sized ‘Big Baby’s’ message.”