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.

Butterfly
13 March 2019

Calling for action on biodiversity

As the latest of many scientific reports identifies population growth as a driver of biodiversity loss, Population Matters calls for action.

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UK Prime Minister Theresa May
1 March 2019

Crisis? What crisis? Government complacency on environment

The UK and Scottish Governments have responded to a letter from Population Matters with platitudes and complacency. In the case of the Scottish Government, their reply was sent eight months after we first contacted them.

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whale shark
22 February 2019

Study: we're eating large animals to extinction

A new study found that three out of five of the world's largest animal species are threatened with extinction because humans are killing them for food. 

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London crowd
15 February 2019

Global risks: where does population rank?

An online survey of over 10,000 adults across nine countries found that more than two thirds of respondents consider population growth a “global catastrophic risk”. However, less than one quarter believe the issue requires urgent action and just over half believe continued population growth will have “negative effects”, demonstrating the urgent need for increased awareness.

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Population Matters
27 April 2019

POPULATION MATTERS CONFERENCE 2019

Our free public conference will address the link between human population and biodiversity loss. An expert international panel of conservationists, scientists and campaigners will examine the problem and the solutions.

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22 May 2019

International Day for Biological Diversity

The United Nations has proclaimed May 22 The International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. 

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Melting Arctic
23 September 2019

UN Climate Action Summit 2019

To support efforts to implement the Paris Agreement and to increase ambition and climate action, UN Secretary-General António Guterres will bring world leaders, from government, finance, business, and civil society to the Climate Summit on 23 September 2019

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monarch butterfly
17 January 2019

Global insect collapse threatens all life on Earth

Recently documented insect population crashes in Puerto Rico and Germany reflect a worrying global trend that is gaining increasing media coverage for good reason: insects are essential for the healthy function of ecosystems. The named culprits are climate change, habitat destruction and pesticides use, all of which are driven and amplified by our growing numbers.

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Chinese baby
7 January 2019

US and China's population growth at new low

Population growth rates in the US and China are now at 0.6% and 0.4%, respectively. Whilst both countries achieved similar results with very different measures, a lower number of people being added every year is a welcome development on our overstretched planet.

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Sir David Attenborough speaking at COP24
19 December 2018

UN climate talks: disappointments and silver linings

UN climate talks in Poland finished late last Saturday night after two weeks of painfully slow and frustrating negotiations. But what was agreed and will the outcomes help avert catastrophic climate change?

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