Population and the environment

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.


Endgame 2050 Live Panel Discussion

Endgame 2050 poster Orangutan mother and baby
3 March 2021

World Wildlife Day: 5 ways you can help forest species


Buy Nothing Day

Dairy cows
15 February 2021

To save biodiversity, we must transform our food systems

Endgame 2050 poster
5 February 2021

Endgame 2050: Panel discussion with leading experts

London's financial centre
4 February 2021

New report: transform economy to save nature

20 January 2021

Study: Population growth cancelling out climate change progress

14 January 2021

Humanity headed towards ‘ghastly future’: Urgent warning from top scientists


Submission on reproductive rights and sustainable development - Dec 2020

Hand holding branch
18 December 2020

What COVID-19 has taught us about our relationship with nature

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