The Ecological Citizen

A free-to-access publication confronting human supremacy in defence of the Earth


Long article

The moral imperative to reduce global population

Trevor Hedberg

The Ecological Citizen Vol 5 No 1 2021: 47–54 [epub-048]

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First published: 23 October 2021  |  Permanent URL  |  Download citation in RIS format


During the last decade, increased scrutiny of ecological disasters such as biodiversity loss and climate change has led some philosophers and environmentalists to examine the connection between population size and environmental degradation. Excessive consumption is clearly a central contributor to our eco-social predicament, but the sheer number of people on the planet also plays a substantial role in its severity. The paper highlights how both anthropocentric and non-anthropocentric ethical perspectives converge on the conclusion that we ought to reduce global population. It then considers what policy measures could be permissibly implemented to achieve this goal.



Climate change, Overpopulation, Sixth mass extinction, Sustainability