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.


Population Matters Magazine Autumn 2019

Nairobi traffic
11 November 2019

Time to talk population again

Person sitting on cracked soil
8 November 2019

11,000 scientists call for population action to prevent catastrophic climate impacts


Human population and the convention on biodiversity - briefing 2019


Population Matters’ Submission to the UK National Food Strategy

25 October 2019

Organic agriculture could increase climate emissions without changes in population and diet

16 October 2019

Scientists call for improving contraceptive use to fight climate change

African school kids
8 October 2019

High population density hurts child health, study finds

Houses in UK
4 October 2019

UK biodiversity report: more of us, less of them

Greta Thunberg and David Attenborough at UN Climate Action Summit
24 September 2019

UN Climate Action Summit fails to deliver climate action

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