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.


2016 Overshoot Index

27 October 2016

WWF: we are facing the next global mass extinction

15 September 2016

State of Nature report overlooks population growth impact

14 July 2016

Our 25th anniversary


Sir David Attenborough speech to the RSA, 2011

7 March 2014

Porritt on British e-NGOs and population


Journal April 2013 Vol. 13, No 1

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