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.

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

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. 

Read more

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. 

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more