Population Matters resource library

Population Matters has been conducting research and producing briefings and government submissions for more than 20 years. You can use this page to find resources on a wide variety of population and environmental subjects. Use the search filters below to refine your search, or browse more than 100 papers and documents. You can also find past editions of the Population Matters members' magazine

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Note. Documents published by Population Matters in the past may not reflect current policies or positions.

Human population reduction is not a quick fix for environmental problems

Briefings and submissions

How much environmental pressure can family planning avert? – A commentary on projections by Bradshaw and Brook

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Waste in the UK and the world

Briefings and submissions

While waste disposal was once a local concern, today it is a global challenge. The consumption of finite resources, and the damaging of the earth in the processes of mineral extraction, pollution and waste management, transcend borders. 1

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Resource security

Briefings and submissions

Resources are fundamental for maintaining and improving our quality of life. Although the role of fossil fuels for the generation of energy is often highlighted, the essential role of metals, minerals, rocks and biotic materials is much less discussed. Nevertheless, non-energy raw materials are widely used.

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Natural amenities in the UK

Natural amenities are beneficial to humanity in many ways. They contribute economically, socially and environmentally to our lives. Losing these free services would inflict great costs on our society.

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Planetary boundaries and population

Briefings and submissions

The concept of ‘planetary boundaries’ serves to define the limits of a safe environmental space for human development on Earth by determining the risk of threshold effects of biophysical processes and identifying the key drivers that could lead to them.

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Envisioning a Sustainable Society

Briefings and submissions

 

 

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Global Biodiversity and Population

Briefings and submissions
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DFID Family Planning Aid Performance Introduction

Briefings and submissions

The Department for International Development (DFID) is the UK government agency working to end extreme poverty around the world. It focuses on job creation, ‘unlocking the potential of girls and women’ and helping to save lives during humanitarian crises .

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Sustainable Development Goals

Briefings and submissions

The first official "zero" draft of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) was published on 2 June 2015.

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Family planning: the key to sustainable development

Briefings and submissions

Summary January 2016 sees the launch of the sustainable development goals (SDGs), a set of 17 objectives that will guide international development until 2030, and the International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) in Indonesia.

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The demographic dividend can accelerate economic growth

Briefings and submissions

The term “demographic dividend” (DD) refers to the accelerated economic growth that a country can achieve when it has a low dependency ratio or, in other words, when the proportion of its population that is of working age is greater than the proportion of its population that doesn’t work (e.g. children and the elderly).

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Climate Change and Population – Links and Trade-Offs

Briefings and submissions

 “The strong correspondence among emission, population, and GDP rankings reflects the importance of population and economic growth as emissions drivers.” (Climate data: insights and observations, Baumer & Pershing, Pew Center on Climate Change, December 2004.)

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A Population-Based Climate Strategy

Briefings and submissions

In 2007 the world finally woke up to climate change. It has not, however, woken up to one of its fundamental causes – human population growth.

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Population and climate change

Briefings and submissions

Introduction Climate change is the long-term alteration of weather patterns affecting our planet. In the modern world this occurs largely due to human produced greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, which trap heat in the atmosphere and alter the earth’s climate.

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Population Dynamics in Mitigating Climate Change

Briefings and submissions

Human population both affects and is affected by climate change. Changes in population size have implications for the ability of societies to adapt to the effects of climate change and for the patterns of consumption and production that generate the emissions driving climate change.

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Managing an ageing society

Briefings and submissions

Societies age when the age distribution of their population shifts towards an older age. This is a consequence of increasing longevity and falling birth rates.1

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Women’s rights

Sustainability Insights

In recent years, governments across the world have been accepting more legal human rights obligations to combat gender inequalities. Despite this, discrimination against women is still widespread, and the severest of human rights violations are persisting in many countries.

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What the things we use are made of

Sustainability Insights

The list below shows a range of goods, services and infrastructure that play a significant part in 21st century human activity, particularly in prosperous, economically-developed countries.

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Sustainable technology: cornflake example

Sustainability Insights

In many cases, it is not obvious to the consumer what resources go into making a particular product.

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Sustainable technology

Sustainability Insights

Technology allows us to convert natural resources into the goods and services that we eat, drink, wear, live in, travel on, etc. It can make both positive and negative contributions to sustainability.

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