Ecological Footprint

The WWF has just released a report – the Living Planet Report 2008 – about the ecological footprint for various countries around the world. The population of Denmark has the fourth largest ecological footprint per capita, mostly due to our very high CO2 emissions and an excessive consumption of meat, which requires much land to produce.

The only counties with a higher pro capita ecological footprint are the United Arab Emirates, the United States of America and Kuwait.

Each Dane requires 8 hectares of farmland to sustain our life style, while an Italian only requires 5 hectares, which is still well over twice the world average.

Jacob Sterling, a spokesperson for the Danish section of the WWF, says:

– We’re a nation of meat eaters, and it makes us the country in Europe with the highest consumption of beef and next highest of pork, measured pro capita. The production of food for cattle and swine takes up large areas of arable land all over the world. It is completely unacceptable that our consumption puts such a level of stress on the planet.

Here’s the description of “ecological footprint” from the report:

The Ecological Footprint measures humanity’s
demand on the biosphere in terms of the
area of biologically productive land and sea
required to provide the resources we use and
to absorb our waste.

A country’s footprint is the sum of all the
cropland, grazing land, forest and fishing
grounds required to produce the food, fibre
and timber it consumes, to absorb the wastes
emitted when it uses energy, and to provide
space for its infrastructure. Since people
consume resources and ecological services
from all over the world, their footprint sums
these areas, regardless of where they are
located on the planet.

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