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.

11 July 2020

World Population Day 2020 Live Q&A

Join us for a live panel discussion on the link between population and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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Deforestation
13 March 2020

Population growth and environmental destruction fuel deadly diseases

Our growing population and resulting overexploitation of nature are facilitating the emergence and spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19.

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Shipping
17 February 2020

The ‘blue acceleration’: ocean plunder in the Anthropocene

A new study highlights the rapidly increasing pressure on the world’s oceans as a result of human population growth and burgeoning demand for resources.

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Deer crossing road
24 January 2020

Wildlife habitat crumbling under weight of human footprint

A new study shows that the majority of wildlife ranges are now under intense human pressure due to population growth and changes in the use of the land.

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Chris Packham
17 January 2020

Chris Packham: we need to talk about population

In a landmark and powerful documentary on the BBC, Population Matters patron Chris Packham looked at the challenges of population growth, and made an impassioned plea for it to become a core part of environmental debate.

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Mountains and lake
10 January 2020

Here's why 2020 could be a ‘super-year’ for nature

Despite the climate and biodiversity crises continuing to escalate, environmentalists are calling 2020 a ‘super-year’ for nature because of several upcoming international policy meetings that have the potential to set nature on a path to recovery. Population Matters is actively campaigning to ensure population solutions are recognised and implemented.

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Robin Maynard and Lagos media, World Population Day 2019
23 December 2019

2019 Year in Review

PM director Robin Maynard reviews a successful year for Population Matters, but one which brought much bad news about the planet.

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Big Baby climate change event Parliament quare
3 December 2019

Big Baby calls for small families to cut CO2

With the critical COP25 climate change meeting opening in Madrid, Population Matters' 7m-high Big Baby brought a critical message to Westminster on Friday: cutting population growth through choosing smaller families is vital to fight climate change.

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Kenyan woman with baby
28 November 2019

Unmet needs: conversations with the women left behind

Population Matters' Director, Robin Maynard, summarises events at this month's Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, and recounts his experience of meeting young women and their families in Africa's largest slum and surrounding rural communities.

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Population Matters Magazine Autumn 2019

Population Matters Magazine

Features World Population Day 2019, Population Declinism, an interview with Dr Edu Effiom and our new Empower to Plan project Jiwsi.

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