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.

17 March 2018

Plastic pollution – viral video diver talks to PM

British diver Rich Horner captured film of himself swimming through plastic pollution. Long deeply concerned about the environment and population,he contacted PM to let us know he is a supporter and to offer us use of the video to spread the population message. 

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14 May 2018

Our new patron: a “vegan hippy chick in a race car”

US racing car driver Leilani Münter has become Population Matters’ newest patron. Combining her career driving very fast cars with untiring environmental activism, Leilani is a passionate supporter of the population cause. 

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Hans Rosling
9 April 2018

Population “Factfulness” – where Hans Rosling goes wrong

At Population Matters we commend Hans Rosling as a brilliant communicator and a person dedicated to improving the lives of people across the world. In that spirit, we offer the following facts, which run counter to Prof Rosling’s popular but shakily founded position that population isn’t a problem and future population growth will effectively sort itself out.

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Population Matters climate change conferece 2018
5 March 2018

Empowering women and melted ice: PM conference 2018

On Saturday, Population Matters’s 2018 conference, Climate change and Us: more feet, more heat? took place in London. Hundreds of people turned up. Our international panel covered a wide range of topics, including the effects of climate change, its impacts on food supply, the challenges of empowering women and the future paths of population and emissions.

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23 January 2018

UK Sustainable Population Policy needed now – not in 25 years

Population Matters director Robin Maynard has written to the Secretary of State for the Environment and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove, to urge him to address population pressures on the UK environment.

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16 January 2018

A hidden agenda? What population campaigners really want

'Witches’ brew of eugenics, colonialism, coercion, hypocrisy, scientific fallacy and blaming the poor.'  the Sunday Times criticisms echo those which population concern campaigners face almost every day.

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15 November 2017

“Time is running out”: 15,000 scientists demand action

15,000 scientists signed onto a letter warning that the Earth faces environmental disaster unless action is taken. The latest warning reports that “time is running out”.

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6 September 2017

Nobel laureates: population growth a major threat

A survey of 50 Nobel laureates has found that many recognise population growth to be among the greatest threats to humanity today.

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21 July 2017

Smaller families most effective action on global warming

Last week, researchers from Lund University and University of British Columbia published a widely-reported article highlighting the top ‘high-impact’ actions individuals can take to reduce their carbon emissions and fight climate change. They concluded that having fewer children would have the greatest impact over the long term.

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Big foot sculpture on World Population Day 2017
14 July 2017

Meet Big Foot

In a week in which scientists warned that other species are facing “biological annihilation”, Population Matters is urging organisations which educate the public about natural history to stop pulling their punches and tell people what’s really going on.

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