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.

1 December 2018

Protest: together for climate change

Join Population Matters and thousands of others in a march and demonstration to demand meaningful action from the UK government on climate change.

 

Timetable

Assemble from 12pm near the Polish Embassy on Portland Place.

Rally with speeches 12.30-1.30.

March to Downing Street, where the Frack Free United Declaration against fracking will be handed in.

Read more

23 November 2018

Speaking out on climate change

Population Matters' Patron, Sir David Attenborough, is fronting the 'People’s Seat' at the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Poland this December. The initiative offers the global public the opportunity to have a presence at discussions through social media.

Read more

20 January 2017

Meet our new chief executive

In December, Robin Maynard started work at Population Matters as our Interim CEO. In this interview, he explains why he is here and what he hopes to achieve.

Read more

Welcome to the Anthropocene Briefing

Illustrated four-page briefing detailing the impact of human population on the planet.

Download
11 October 2017

Livestock, extinction . . . and population

Last week, Population Matters attended the high-profile Livestock and Extinction conference in London. The conference brought together experts on food production, wildlife, the environment, policymaking, and health to examine the impact of industrial agriculture on the natural world and identify solutions.

Read more

2 November 2018

Meet our new President: Jonathon Porritt

One of UK’s most high profile environmental campaigners is to become the new President of Population Matters. Former Green Party leader and director of Friends of the Earth, Jonathon Porritt has been a vocal advocate for population issues and will champion Population Matters’ work in his new role.

 

Read more

1 November 2018

Key WWF report fails to address overpopulation

WWF International’s latest report on the state of the world’s wildlife once again shies away from addressing the ‘elephant in the room’. As one of the world’s most influential and popular environmental organisations, WWF is failing in its duty to confront the main driver of species decline: unsustainable human population pressure.

Read more

5 June 2019

World Environment Day

World Environment Day is the ‘people’s day’ for doing something to take care of the Earth or become an agent of change.

Read more

22 March 2019

World Water Day

The day is a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

Read more

Royal Society Study on Population

Briefings and submissions

Indefinite growth in anything physical on a physically finite planet is self-evidently physically impossible.

Download