Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Earth Can't Keep Up With Our Demands

We are consuming about 20% more natural resources than the planet can produce, WWF International has warned. "We are spending nature's capital faster than it can regenerate," WWF’s director general Claude Martin said following the launch of its “Living Planet” report. "We are running up an ecological debt which we won't be able to pay off unless governments restore the balance between our consumption of natural resources and the earth's ability to renew them," he said. Each person occupies an "ecological footprint" equivalent to 2.2 hectares in terms of their capacity to pollute or consume energy and other resources including food. But the planet can only offer them 1.8 hectares each, the 2004 report said.
The country with the largest overall footprint in 2001 was the United Arab Emirates, with just below 10 hectares per person, mainly due to energy consumption that accounted for more than 70% of that. It was followed by the U.S. and Kuwait. Australia was the fourth largest burden on the world's resources, followed by Sweden and Finland. The two Nordic countries have relatively low energy consumption, But they have the highest demand for "food and fibre" mainly due to the timber industry's use of their forests. More Information.
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