Our numbers have a huge effect on our natural environment. The more of us there are, the bigger the impact on nature. Human population growth is a key driver of biodiversity loss, resource depletion, deforestation, climate emissions and pollution.

In the 1970s, Population Matters Patron Paul Ehrlich and his colleague John Holdren developed an equation to describe our impact on the environment:

I = P x A x T

Where "I" is impact, "P" is population, "A" is affluence and "T" is technology. The "IPAT" equation shows that our numbers, how we live, and the technology we use all have an effect on our finite environment.

See our latest news stories and blog posts about the environment below.

Senegalese woman learning about modern contraceptives
10 August 2020

Investing in contraception would save billions of dollars

A new report estimates that fulfilling the unmet need for modern contraception in developing countries would save $16 billion a year in maternal healthcare by reducing the number of unintended pregnancies.

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London street crowd
6 August 2020

Small island, big population – why the UK needs a Sustainable Population Policy

With the United Kingdom already considered one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world, unabated population growth poses a real threat to remaining ecosystems and human health and wellbeing. Population Matters Director Robin Maynard takes a look at a UK politician’s new proposal to set up a governmental body tasked with monitoring national population trends and developing policy recommendations. 

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Person eating burger
27 July 2020

Eating the planet: what our diets and population growth mean for the environment

A new report reveals that global adoption of current food consumption patterns in G20 countries would ruin our chance of meeting climate and sustainability targets, exceeding our food carbon budget by almost three-fold and requiring up to seven Earths to support.

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Crowd crossing road
20 July 2020

Two billion fewer people?

A new study published in The Lancet projects that the global population will peak at 9.7bn in 2064 and be 8.8bn by the end of the century. That's 2bn below the United Nations projection. Can it be true?

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14 July 2020

World Population Day 2020 – sustainable development needs a sustainable population

Saturday 11 July marked World Population Day and for us it was the culmination of a series of digital events that we hope will encourage and inspire people to talk about population issues. This year our theme and activities centred around the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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Hitting the Targets - Population and the SDGs

Briefings and submissions
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School children
25 June 2020

Can relationships & sex education help save the planet?

On the UK's Relationships and Sex Education Day, Population Matters Campaigner Katrina Dixon lays out why quality sex education is key to protecting lives and the environment. 

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Population Matters' response to the Dasgupta Review

Briefings and submissions

Response note to The Dasgupta Review – Independent Review on the Economics of Biodiversity Interim Report as commissioned by the UK’s HM Treasury.

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Sumatran rhino
9 June 2020

Human-caused mass extinction still accelerating

A new analysis shows the sixth mass extinction is accelerating, with more than 500 vertebrate species at risk of becoming extinct in less than 20 years – as many as were lost over the entire course of the last century.

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Rainforest
5 June 2020

Easing our impact on biodiversity and nature

On World Environment Day, conservationist and forestry expert Dr Edu Effiom explains why protecting biodiversity requires improving access to sexual and reproductive healthcare alongside more sustainable production and consumption patterns.

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