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.

Small family with twins
15 May 2019

Small families around the world share their thoughts

We asked people why they chose to have small families and were overwhelmed by the hundreds of testimonials we received from around the world. Both parents and child-free people shared their views on small family life and how concern about the environment often played a key role in their decisions about how many children to have.

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Chimpanzee
10 May 2019

One million species face extinction unless we address population growth

A major new UN report on the state of the world’s biodiversity states that nature is being destroyed faster than ever before due to population and economic growth. Three-quarters of all land environments and two-thirds of all marine environments have been severely damaged by humans over the past five decades, leading to one million species now threatened with extinction.

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Winnie and Edu
30 April 2019

Letting the elephant out of the room: Our 2019 Conference

Population Matters’ annual conference in London this past Saturday left attendees feeling enlightened and inspired. This year’s theme was the crucial link between population growth and the sixth mass extinction. With an incredibly knowledgeable international panel of speakers from diverse backgrounds, it was a fantastic event that highlighted the interconnectedness of environmental and social issues and the urgent need for the conservation community to address this.

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Population Matters - Second submission to Convention on Biodiversity consultation

Briefings and submissions

Population Matters' submission regarding the Synthesis of responses to the Convention on Biodiversity discussion paper - April 2019

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8 June 2019

Kadogo’s Story - Life in a remote Kenyan village

Come to the next meeting of our London Group and learn about family planning in a remote Kenyan village.

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Giraffe
12 April 2019

Human population growth squeezing out Serengeti wildlife, study shows

A new study reveals that rapid human population growth along the edge of the iconic Serengeti-Mara ecosystem is forcing wildlife to retreat to its core areas and endangering its ability to sustain life.

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Population Matters Magazine Spring 2019

Population Matters Magazine

Our Patron Sir David Attenborough's speaks out on the need to slow population growth; and we ask: can we sustainably feed our growing population? 

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Crowded city
5 April 2019

Population growth slows progress towards Sustainable Development Goals, says UN

The world is not on track to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals because efforts to implement them have not kept pace with rapid human population growth, according to the United Nations.

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Blue tit
27 March 2019

UK nature under assault: failed biodiversity targets and water stress

The United Kingdom is already one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world, yet the onslaught on our natural environment is showing no signs of slowing. Two key new reports demonstrate that UK wildlife and freshwater sources face a dire future unless urgent action is taken to protect them.

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Oil palm
21 March 2019

Population and consumption causing extinction crisis and water shortage

The latest UN Global Resources Outlook report reveals that natural resource extraction and processing is responsible for 90% of water stress and biodiversity loss and is driven by the combination of rapid population and economic growth.

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