Denmark and Singapore Have High Demand on Earth’s Resources

According to a report by World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Denmark’s demand on the earth’s resources is the fourth in the world behind only the gulf oil states of Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. Singapore’s demand is the highest in Asia while Philippines and Laos are among the lowest.

Every human activity uses biologically productive land and/or fishing grounds. The biennial Living Planet Report examined the impact of human activity on the planet or the ecological footprint per person. A country’s ecological footprint is made up of both the quantity of goods and services individuals consume and the amount of waste they produce, as well as the decisions of businesses and governments and their environmental demands and impacts.

According to the report, Denmark’s ecological footprint is ahead of industrial superpowers and heavy polluters like the US, Canada and China. Norway’s ecological footprint is the lowest among the Scandinavian countries. In Asia, Singapore’s ecological footprint is the highest while Philippines and Laos are among the lowest.

The report did not specify to what extent Denmark’s high per capita ecological footprint was a result of either high levels of individual consumerism, or whether it was due to the activities of its industry and high profile companies such as the energy and shipping giant Maersk.

And the accuracy of the figures can also be questioned, as the WWF concedes that it used figures from 2008 to assess Denmark’s ecological footprint.

The report does illustrate, however, that on the whole developed countries use a far greater share of the world’s resources than developing countries. The report concludes that we would need four earths to satisfy our demands if everyone lived like an average American.

“We are living as if we had an extra planet at our disposal. We are using 50 percent more resources than the Earth can sustainably produce and unless we change course, that number will grow fast – by 2030, even two planets will not be enough,” says Jim Leape, WWF International’s director general.

The Living Planet Report was released to coincide with next month’s United Nations Rio+ 20 Summit, where world leaders will discuss how to ensure a sustainable future.

“Rio+20 needs to elevate the urgency of action on the scale needed. Now is our chance to reflect whether the future we’re creating for our planet is the legacy we want to leave for future generations,” David Nussbaum, CEO of WWF International, writes on their website.

For a full report, follow this link

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