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.

5 October 2018

Sir David Attenborough: we must act on population

Population Matters patron Sir David Attenborough was interviewed on the BBC’s Newsnight, where he once again spoke out about our unsustainable population growth and the urgent need to address it.

Read more

24 September 2018

Ten thousand walk for Britain’s disappearing wildlife

Last Saturday, Population Matters joined ten thousand people from across the UK who flocked to London for a ground-breaking event: the biggest march for wildlife the country has ever seen.

Read more

13 September 2018

Wildlife under threat – UK hedgehog numbers plummet

A recent large-scale hedgehog survey across Britain’s rural areas found an alarmingly low number of animals, bolstering earlier research indicating a steep decline. An iconic animal in the UK, the decline in hedgehog numbers reflects disappearing biodiversity under human pressure.

Read more

17 August 2018

Population growth puts green belts under housing pressure

A new report by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) published earlier this month revealed that under current council policies, 460,000 new homes could be built on ‘green belt’ land in the UK, with 35,000 proposals submitted last year.

Read more

1 August 2018

Why isn’t one Earth enough?


Today is Earth Overshoot Day – the symbolic day in the year when we have exceeded the Earth’s capacity to sustain us. 

Read more

23 July 2018

Making our mark on World Population Day

On World Population Day 2018, Population Matters took to the streets of London with a truck-mounted mobile digital display of the “population clock” – global population growth live. 

Read more

11 July 2018

20,000 scientists ignored – time for action

Last November, 15,000 scientists urged governments to act to avoid what they bluntly called “widespread misery and catastrophic biodiversity loss” identifying population growth as a “primary driver”.

Read more

25 June 2018

Population and family size – tapping into the zeitgeist?

The past few months have seen an unprecedented level of attention on population and family size in the media. With articles in The Times, the Washington Post, the New York TimesThe Guardian, the BBC, and many other outlets, could it be that this long-neglected issue is finally getting the attention it deserves?

Read more

13 June 2018

One-in-five UK mammals facing extinction – urgent action now

A recent study has found that one in five mammals in the UK face extinction. Climate change, loss of habitat, use of pesticides and disease were identified as main factors. PM patron Chris Packham has warned that the UK faces “an ecological apocalypse” – but one we can fix.

Read more

1 June 2018

Three million more in 10 years. Is England’s growth sustainable?

The population of England is expected to grow by three million people by 2026, according to the latest release from the Office of National Statistics (ONS). The population of every region in England is also projected to increase by mid-2026, with London set to grow fastest.

Read more