对话 Mathis Wackernagel:如何才能让不同的受众更清楚地理解资源安全的重要性

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Why did you write “Ecological Footprint: Managing Our Biocapacity Budget” now?

Bill Rees and I wrote our first Ecological Footprint book in 1995 at a time when our resource-use estimates were still crude. The book summarized my Ph. D. dissertation, including a presentation of the basic premises of the idea as well as some basic applications. After this first book, I shifted strategy. I started to disseminate Ecological Footprint thinking through other organizations, including WWF, international agencies and national governments, to give it wider visibility and accelerate its mainstream adoption. Now, 25 years later, the time has come to provide an updated introduction to the whole approach. With a clear goal in mind: How to make Ecological Footprint accounting accessible, relevant, and fresh.

What are the main findings since you published the first Ecological Footprint book 25 years ago?

In 1995 we only had a rough estimate for Canada and an overly crude one for humanity. By 1997 we started to do more systematic national calculations. Global Footprint Network started in 2003 with annual updates for (nearly) every country on the planet and time series all the way back to 1961. Those accounts kept getting more and more refined. They are now so refined, as a matter of fact, that we gave them their own independent organization: www.FoDaFo.org. Back in 1995, I was expecting a faster evolution of the sustainability debate than we actually witnessed over the past 25 years. Furthermore, unsustainable trends have continued nearly unabated – from using 1.3 Earths in 1995 to using 1.75 Earths now. Most policy makers still miss or choose to ignore the fact that without resource security, humanity – and every country with it – is putting its own ability to operate at risk. And I am perpetually stunned to observe how hard it is to make this unavoidable reality obvious to wider audiences. So this has been a challenge we set ourselves: how can we make the need for resource security more obvious to diverse publics?

Can you share with us the key 3 take-away messages in this book?

  1. Biocapacity is the ultimate currency. Earth’s renewal capacity is the most limiting of all material resources. That is why mapping all our demands against biocapacity not only makes sense but is imperative. Embracing this biological perspective allows us to clearly distinguish which strategies may be successful and which ones are doomed to fail.
  2. We live in unusual times. Our enormous dependence on fossil fuel seems normal to most of us. After all, “hasn’t it always been this way?” In reality, it is highly abnormal. Of all the fossil fuel ever burnt in the entire human history, 80% was burnt during my short lifetime. The book tells you how much was burnt during yours. It was 46% since Justin Bieber was born.
  3. It is the economy, stupid. That was Clinton’s presidential stump-speech. And he might be right on the money. In fact, we’ve been striving to make the case that embracing sustainability is economically superior and advantageous for humanity at large, starting with those who put their decision-making through a sustainability lens. Without this lens, we put our businesses, our cities, our countries even, into ever more inescapable traps.

What did you learn writing the book?

There is so much we want to tell, but ultimately including too much may not be helpful. It is more important to make the stories digestible. Bert and I challenged ourselves to translate complex ideas into examples that anybody could relate to. And to make sure the book is not just filled with theoretical ideas, but practical examples and applications. Also, when working on the acknowledgments, I started to realize how many people have contributed to this work. That is rather humbling. And I am particularly embarrassed about all the people I forgot to mention.

How confident are you that humanity’s Ecological Footprint can be brought in balance with Earth’s capacity to renew biological resources?

In this instance, I try to avoid thinking about probability – rather I focus on possibility. Is it possible to get out of ecological overshoot by design and not by disaster? The answer is a resounding yes. It is possible if enough people want to. It seems to me, however, that too few of us are convinced that we have personal “skin in the game” – that this context truly matters to our own lives. Fortunately, those high-schoolers boycotting school on Fridays around the world show us the way: they know that climate action is essential for their own ability to choose the life they want to live. They accuse the older generation for having failed them for a reason: too many decision makers – national and regional policy, large scale investments, urban planning – believe indeed that sustainability is merely a noble cause, not a necessary condition for prosperity. I’m afraid they are betting on the wrong horse. I predict that their blindness is undercutting their own chances at being successful. This book explains why.


MORE INFO ON “Ecological Footprint: Managing Our Biocapacity Budget



Now you can buy copies directly from the publisher, your bookstores, or from any other distributor. We worked hard to keep the price low so the book is accessible to anybody. All royalties will help support Global Footprint Network.

2014 – 2016 人类生态足迹概要

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OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, APRIL 25, 2019—The 2019 edition of the National Footprint and Biocapacity Accounts tracks the Ecological Footprint and biocapacity of all countries, using U.N. data, from 1961 to 2016. This is two years further than last year’s edition, since U.N. data is becoming available more rapidly.

world ecological footprint and biocapacity per personOne finding is that humanity’s carbon Footprint dropped 1.4 percent between 2014 and 2016, bringing the total Ecological Footprint—a measure of global human demand for biological resources—down 0.5 percent over the same period. Recent data pointing to significant increases in carbon emissions throughout 2017 and 2018 suggest that this trend was short-lived, however.

Because carbon emissions require land covered with forests to be absorbed, they are counted as a competing human demand on the planet in the Ecological Footprint accounts. They compete for land area with demands for food, forest products, fibers, or infrastructure needs such as roads and buildings. In fact, the carbon Footprint accounts for 60 percent of the current Ecological Footprint of humanity. Overall, humanity’s demand for goods and services from ecological systems is currently 75 percent higher than what the planet can renew today.

“Our data show that we use as much from nature as if we lived on 1.75 Earths, yet we only have one. This is not a judgement, just a measurement. In this context, bringing human activity back within the ecological budget of our one planet is not about doing the noble thing or easing our guilty conscience. It is about choosing self-interest and what works. We will move out of ecological overshoot. Why choose to get there by disaster rather than by design?” —DR. MATHIS WACKERNAGEL, Founder and President of Global Footprint Network

All the Footprint and biocapacity data up to 2016 is freely available on the Ecological Footprint Explorer open data platform atdata.footprintnetwork.org. Additionally, “nowcasting” capabilities to forecast results to 2019 and licenses for more detail on countries’ demand by consumer activities are available for a fee.

The shrinking of the total global Ecological Footprint in 2016, the latest year with a complete U.N. data set, is mostly due to a 1.4 percent drop in the carbon Footprint over the 2014-2016 period. This led to an average per-person Ecological Footprint worldwide of 2.8 global hectares (gha), compared to 1.6 gha per person of available biocapacity. (Biocapacity represents the productivity of the Earth’s ecological assets; a global hectare is a biologically productive hectare with world average productivity.)

As of 2016, eighty-six percent of the world’s population lives in a country with an ecological deficit. A country runs an ecological deficit when its residents demand more from nature than the country’s own ecosystems can regenerate. Seventy-one percent of the world’s population lives in a country with an ecological deficit and below world-average income, and therefore are unlikely to be able to buy their way out of the resource crunch.

Highlights of the new Footprint data and tools

  • Last year, the United Nations’ persistent efforts to improve access to pertinent data resulted in shortening the delay in available data from three to two years. Not only did this change give researchers access to two years worth of data (2015, 2016) since last year’s edition, but this one-year gain in data availability delay brings the accurate assessment of countries’ Ecological Footprint and biocapacity that much closer to the current time, improving researchers’ ability to describe the recent reality and to assess current trends.
  • The 2019 edition of the National Footprint and Biocapacity Accounts was produced, for the very first time, under the close observation of the team at York University’s Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) who is part of the Ecological Footprint Initiative. Going forward, the Ecological Footprint Initiative team in Toronto will be entrusted with producing National Footprint and Biocapacity Accounts data with the support of Global Footprint Network, in the context of the partnership created in 2018 by both organizations with a view to ensuring ever more robust and transparent data in the future.

“Our faculty and students continue to appreciate and use global data on the Ecological Footprint and biocapacity of countries. These remain the best metrics for calculating human demand on the environment. We look forward to continuing the important work of producing the National Footprint and Biocapacity Accounts and leading a global research network committed to its application by policy-makers and the public.” —DR. ALICE J. HOVORKA, Dean & Professor of the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University

Some country trends worth watching

All the results shown in this section reflect the perspective of a country’s consumption. This perspective tracks what is produced within the country plus the Footprint of trade (imports minus exports).


Venezuela’s total Ecological Footprint dropped 20 percent between 2014 and 2016, reflecting the dramatic deterioration of the country’s economy over the same period. The largest driver is the 50 percent decrease of the national cropland Footprint, due to a 58 percent collapse in Ecological Footprint of imports of agricultural products and a whopping 34 percent decline in local agricultural output. The carbon Footprint closely follows behind with a 12.8 percent decrease caused by the severe economic recession. Overall, the Ecological Footprint and GDP trends are closely aligned in this case. Rampant inflation began in 2015. By 2016, President Maduro declared economic emergency.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom’s carbon Footprint dropped 11.7 percent between 2014 and 2016, driving the country’s total Ecological Footprint down 8.8 percent. The U.K.’s total carbon Footprint has decreased by 29 percent since its 2007 peak and by around 26 percent since 1990, faster than any other major high-income country. These trends continue into 2017, largely driven by a significant decline in coal use, according to Carbon Brief: “The most significant factors include a cleaner electricity mix based on gas and renewables instead of coal, as well as falling demand for energy across homes, businesses and industry.” Remarkably, the U.K. is one of 19 countries to have significantly lowered their fossil fuel emissions over the past decade without decreasing their GDP. The “decoupling” of GDP and Ecological Footprint is certainly a hot trend to watch for the in the years to come.

On a different note, lower crop yields in 2016 cause the cropland Footprint of the U.K. to decline by 13 percent. According to the U.K.’s farming statistics, wheat and barley yields dropped 12 percent and 11 percent respectively after a couple of years of peak performance but they remain in line with longer term averages. Meanwhile, blackgrass and other weeds, poor drainage and disease caused oilseed rape yields to drop 21 percent.



Many countries in Europe, including France and Germany, are showing a trend in decoupling of GDP and Ecological Footprint that echoes the trend in the U.K.. Europe’s carbon Footprint, which contributes to 60 percent of the region’s total Ecological Footprint, has decreased by 21 percent since 2007, including 3.7 percent between 2014 and 2016. This decline has been a major driver is drawing Europe’s Ecological Footprint down by 15 percent over the same period, lowering the ecological deficit by about 34 percent. Europe still uses 35 percent more goods and services from nature than its own natural ecosystems can renew.

Note that from 1991 on, the Europe region data set includes the breakaway countries from former Yugoslavia, the Baltic States, Belarus, Moldova, and Russia.

United States


The USA’s total Ecological Footprint has decreased over the past decade, largely driven by an 18 percent decrease in its carbon Footprint between 2005 and 2016. This is due to competition from natural gas and renewables, which have displaced coal-fired power as a cheaper option for electricity production. However, this trend was reversed in 2017 and 2018, according to more recent US data that the National Footprint Accounts will start taking into account in its next edition as 2017 U.N. data is made available. America’s carbon dioxide emissions rose by 3.4 percent in 2018, the biggest increase in eight years. Colder winters in the Northeast have spiked the use of oil and gas for heating. Hotter summers around the country have increased power usage for cooling, boosting emissions. Other factors include a boost in manufacturing and a relative expansion of the national economy, leading to higher emissions from factories, trucks and air travel. The U.S. has yet to find its path toward decoupling its carbon Footprint from economic growth.



The continuous 12 percent slide of Russia’s Ecological Footprint since 2011 has mainly been driven by the 18 percent decrease of its carbon Footprint. Rather than a “decoupling” phenomenon between GDP growth and lower carbon emissions, however, this decrease reflects the economic difficulties that Russia struggled with over that period. Factors include the continued downward momentum of oil prices since their 2012 peak, and the sanctions imposed by the United States, the 28-nation European Union, Norway, Canada, and Australia in retaliation for Russia’s interference in Ukraine. The weak ruble and changes in state support programs which make beef imports too expensive for most potential buyers in Russia, compounded in 2014 by Russia’s retaliatory ban on food products from those same countries, including meat, are reflected in the 38 percent drop of the grazing Footprint between 2012 and 2016.

Russia has also enjoyed a 51 percent growth of its total cropland biocapacity (+50 percent per person) since its momentous 2012 grain harvest failure due to the exceptional drought in its Eastern agricultural regions. While expanding farmland areas account for 3 percent of this increase (or 1.58 million global hectares), improved yields make up the rest. Since 2011, Russia has grown its total ecological reserve by 85 percent (86 percent per person) despite losing 1.6 percent of its forest biocapacity over the same period.


Unlike European countries, China’s total carbon Footprint soared in the post economic recession era. It increased by 39 percent from 2007 to 2014, reaching its peak in 2014. Since then, it has decreased by 2 percent thanks to a significantly reduced use of coal. From 2014 to 2016, expanded renewable and nuclear power generation was able to cover the slow growth in overall electricity consumption, according to Carbon Brief. This led to a slight decline in coal-fired power generation. However, 2017 and 2018 energy data point to a trend reversal. Electricity demand grew so fast in those two recent years – driven by growth in heavy manufacturing as well as contributions from household use and the service sector – that new low-carbon sources could not keep up. According to the Global Carbon Project, emissions grew by 2.3 percent from 2017 to 2018 due to more coal consumption for electricity production.

Since 2004, China, not unlike Russia, has grown its total cropland biocapacity by a whopping 19.3 percent (20 percent per person) – including 3.5 percent between 2014 and 2016 alone – increasing total biocapacity by 13 percent over the same period. Much of this upward trend is due to policies and government spending designed to improve agricultural sciences and practices in order to improve crop yield stability and performance, fending off the specter of feeding a large population from a relatively small area of available farmland. In addition, China has been expanding its total forested land by 32 percent since 1990.



Cuba’s ecological deficit per person dropped 22.4 percent between 2010 and 2016, as its Ecological Footprint per person decreased by 10 percent and its biocapacity per person grew by 13 percent. The 23 percent decrease in the carbon Footprint per person is the main driver of the Ecological Footprint’s slide. Whether this trend continues hinges on the country’s commitment, in line with the Paris Climate Agreement, to generate 24 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2030. Cuba’s new Constitution, which was approved by referendum in February 2019, includes amendments directing Cuba to “promote the conservation of the environment and the fight against climate change, which threatens the survival of the human species.”

Between 2010 and 2016, Cuba increased its biocapacity per person by 13 percent (or 15 percent total) thanks to a 9 percent expansion of its total forested areas and a 28 percent boost of its total cropland biocapacity. The latter was made possible through agricultural transformation policies and programs designed, since 2007, to increase the country’s agricultural food self-sufficiency and biofuels capacity, reduce its dependence on imports, and possibly boost exports. However, the trend is expected to register a severe slow down, if not a halt, past 2016 due to extreme weather events, including Hurricane Irma in 2017, and the impact of the Venezuelan crisis on the Cuban economy.

7.29 地球超载日2019:不断提前的透支日

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美国加州奥克兰 2019年6月24日- 人类已在本年7月29日将今年预算的全球天然资源用尽。 基于全球生态足迹网络的估算统计, 在过去的20年, 地球生态资源超载日不断提前。(全球足迹网络 致力于推动 全球生态可持续性,并开创生态资源会计方法。这种生态资源会计法是把人类所有需求做总结算,主要包括下列项目:粮食,木材,纺织纤维,二氧化碳(碳)的回收,以及交通的需求。目前燃烧化石燃料(石油及煤等)所产生的碳占人类生态足迹的百分之六十。)

“生态资源超支日”  指人类对自然资源索取超过该整年地球生态系统所能再生还原的一天。 在1970 年代人 类首次将 “超支日”提前。  过去的二十年内, 人类造成超支日前移三个月。 今年的超支日是7月29日,这也是有史以来最早的。  7月29日代表人类目前对天然资源的抽取等于地球生态系统所能再生的1.75 倍。  换句话说就是我们使用了1.75 个地球。 我们之所以能如此超支是因我们逐渐挖空了地球的天然资源,如此更进一步危害地球未来的再生还原能力。



马西斯•华可瑞格尔博士呼吁  “我们并不能常期拥用1.75个地球,我们只有一个地球,必须诚认人类生存面临重大危机”。   华博士是生态资源会计方法的发明人,也是全球生态足迹网络的创建人。 他进一步指出 “人类活动是不可避免地被地球生态资源所约束。 我们面临的难题是: 譲灾难来引导我们进入将来,还是我们有计划地迎接将来。 换句话说,我们的目标是居住在一个悲惨的地球,还是繁荣的地球。”

推后生态资源超支日与迈向  “一个繁荣地球的期望 “是相关而相容的。我们有能力停止此危险的趋势!如果我们每年把此超支日推后五天,人类将在2050年前达到 “一个繁 荣地球”  的目标。  在2019年超支日之前,全球生态足迹网络将强调目前改善措施的机会及预估其对超支日推后的效应。  例如以素食取代50%的肉类可把超支日推后十五天 (包括由于减少畜牧的甲烷排放所导致的十天。)  减少全球人类生态足迹的碳排放50% 便可把超支日推后93天。



  • 生态足迹计算器(www.Footprintcalculator.org)  也可用来计算个人使用者的生态足迹及超支日。现有法,德,西班牙及意大利文,并将在超支日前增加中文及葡萄牙文。目前已有一千五百万人使用该计算器。
  • 全球生态足迹网络及其伙伴将邀请公众共同探索 “推后超支日运动”以支持全球迈向“一个繁荣地球”的相关措施。这些步骤与下面五大项目相连:能源,粮食,都市,人口,及地球,包括下面行动的机会:引导群众参与对话,开办工作场所作业(例如减少食物浪费等),及请求政府认真而负责地管理天然资源。


www.overshootday.org/solutions:  探索有关项目 Https://www.overshootday.org/newsroom/infographics/:  相关可直接使用的图像 www.overshootday.org: 更多生态资源超支日数据

www.footprintcalculator.org: 个人生态足迹计算器

data.footprintnetwork.org: 所有国家公开的生态足迹及生物界总资源量资料

https://www.newsociety.com/Books/E/Ecological-Footprint: 有关生态足迹新书及摘要, 可供复印发表

社会新闻 “推后地球资源超支日“




Kristine Jiao焦予薇 – (英文和中文) – 美国
+1 (510) 839-8879 x4 (PDT)

Laetitia Mailhes – (语和法语) – 法国
+1 (510) 839-8879 x308 (CET)


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  • 贵州人均年收入为18700元(约2852美元),人均生态足迹为72gha与中国其他省区相比,贵州的人均收入排名倒数第五,人均生态足迹排名倒数第六。中国人均生态足迹为3.4gha而瑞士的为5.8gha。而报告的最终研究表明,贵州人均生态足迹已经达到1.98gha。
  • 在贵州,生态足迹的51%来自政府和民间对耐用资产的投资, 其余 49% 则来自于家庭日常消费, 包括食品, 住房, 交通, 商品和服务。在中国,47% 的足迹来自私人和政府投资,而53% 来自家庭消费。相反,在瑞士,29% 的足迹来自私人和政府投资,而71% 来自家庭消费。
  • 根据联合国的人类发展指数计算,测量人类幸福,贵州为62。低于0.7的高发展水平也低于中国平均值0.73。

我们与贵州合作的成果基于世界自然基金会中国(WWF China)与全球足迹网络合作的《中国生态足迹报告》。我们共同热切盼望中国更多省份加入我们。我们下一站将前往四川省。


更多信息请浏览www.zujiwangluo.org 或 www.chinafootprint.org。点击这里下载英文报告或者点击这里下载中文报告. 我们同时提供一份一页的简短概要,请点击这里.


By | Ecological Limits, 未分类 | No Comments

Report published by UNEP and Global Footprint Network ranks countries on the economic risks they face from a hike in food prices

(London 18 May 2016) – If global food prices double then China could lose $161 billion in GDP and India could lose $49 billion, according to a new report released today by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Global Footprint Network.

The UNEP-Global Footprint Network report, entitled ERISC Phase II: How food prices link environmental constraints to sovereign credit risk, features a table that ranks countries according to how badly they will be affected if global food commodity prices double.

In the future, the world will likely suffer from higher and more volatile food prices as a result of a growing imbalance between the supply and demand of food, the report notes. Rising populations and incomes will intensify the demand for food while climate change and resource scarcity will disrupt food production.

The report, which was published in collaboration with Cambridge Econometrics and several leading financial institutions, models the impact of a global food price shock on 110 countries to assess which countries face the greatest economic risk from this growing imbalance.

In terms of the highest percentage loss to GDP, the five countries that will be worst hit if food commodity prices double are all in Africa – Benin, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal and Ghana. But China will see the most amount of money wiped from its GDP of any country – $161 billion, equivalent to the total GDP of New Zealand. India will see the second highest loss to GDP – $49 billion, equivalent to the total GDP of Croatia.

Among the report’s other key findings are:

  • Overall, Egypt, Morocco and Philippines could suffer the most from a doubling of food prices in terms of the combined impact on GDP, current account balance and inflation.
  • 17 out of the 20 countries most at risk from a food price shock are in Africa.
  • Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil, Australia, Canada and the US would benefit the most from a sharp increase in food commodity prices.
  • Globally, negative effects of a food price shock massively outweigh positive effects in absolute terms. While China could see an absolute reduction in GDP of $161 billion, the highest absolute positive effect on GDP, seen in the United States, is only $3 billion –50 times smaller than the impact on China.
  • In 23 countries, a doubling in food prices leads to a 10 per cent (or more) rise in the consumer price index.
  • Countries with higher sovereign credit ratings tend to be less exposed to risks resulting from a food price spike.
  • Countries whose populations have the highest consumption of natural resources and services, and are therefore most responsible for the environmental constraints that make future food prices higher and more volatile, tend to face the lowest risk exposure.

UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said, “Fluctuations in food prices are felt directly by consumers and reverberate throughout national economies. As environmental pressures mount, it is important to anticipate the economic impact of these stresses so that countries and investors can work on mitigating and minimizing risk. And as the global population continues to rise, food prices can be a bellwether for how environmental risk translates to economic risk and vulnerability.”

Susan Burns, co-founder of Global Footprint Network and director of its Finance Initiative, said: “Now more than ever, in this era of climate change, identifying all relevant environmental risks is crucial to investing not only in equities but also sovereign bonds.

“As this latest research shows, disruptions to our food system represent one substantial environmental risk that both investors and governments may be largely overlooking but would be well-served to integrate into their risk analysis.”

The ERISC Phase II report was published in collaboration with Cambridge Econometrics and several financial institutions: Caisse des Dépôts, First State Investments, HSBC, Kempen Capital Management, KfW, and S&P Global Ratings.

The report builds on the first Environment Risk Integration in Sovereign Credit (ERISC) report published in 2012 by UNEP FI and GFN.

The overall objective of the ERISC project is to assesses how environmental risks such as deforestation, climate change and water scarcity affect economies, given that GDP, inflation and current account balances underpin some of the criteria that determine a country’s sovereign credit rating and the cost of borrowing on international capital markets.

UNEP and GFN would like to invite interested parties, governments, banks, investors and rating agencies to work with them to further decipher the link between environmental constraints and sovereign credit risk.

Today’s ERISC report comes ahead of the release of a landmark report on food systems and natural resources written by the International Resource Panel (IRP), a consortium of 34 internationally renowned scientists, over 30 national governments and other groups hosted by UNEP.

The IRP report, which lists a series of solutions that will improve the world’s food system, will be released in Nairobi on 25 May at the United Nations Environment Assembly – the world’s de facto Parliament for the Environment.


About Global Footprint Network
Global Footprint Network is an international research organization that is changing how the world manages its natural resources and responds to climate change. Since 2003 Global Footprint Network has engaged with more than 50 nations, 30 cities, and 70 global partners to deliver scientific insights that have driven high-impact policy and investment decisions. Global Footprint Network’s finance initiative helps financial institutions quantify and integrate environmental risk in their investments, credit ratings, and country risk analysis.

About UNEP Finance Initiative
The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) is a unique global partnership between the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the global financial sector. UNEP FI works closely with over 200 financial institutions who are Signatories to the UNEP FI Statements, and a range of partner organizations to develop and promote linkages between sustainability and financial performance. Through peer-to-peer networks, research and training, UNEP FI carries out its mission to identify, promote, and realise the adoption of best environmental and sustainability practice at all levels of financial institution operations.

Media Contacts:
Ronna Kelly (USA but in London 12 May – 19 May)
Director of Communications
Global Footprint Network
Skype: ronna.kelly.gfn

Shereen Zorba
Head of News and Media
+254-20 762 5022


By | Carbon Footprint, Ecological Limits | No Comments

Together with our partner Earth Day Network, we’re happy to give trees a special nod today.

At Global Footprint Network, we have a soft spot for trees and forests. They are an essential pool of biodiversity. And they are one of our most important ecological assets: A whopping 70 percent of humanity’s Ecological Footprint is comprised of demand for forest products (paper, timber, etc.) and carbon capture, an ecological service that forests provide.

In fact, even if the whole Earth were covered with forests, we still wouldn’t have enough to meet our current demand for their products and services…Besides, we obviously need to leave some productive land available for crops to feed us.

Overall, total forest biocapacity worldwide has declined by 5 percent since 1961, the earliest year reliable data is available. On a per-person basis, the decline is much greater, at 59 percent.

Brazil, Russia, the United States and Canada are the countries with the most forested land in the world today. Combined, they generate 54 percent of the renewable goods and services that all forests provide globally.

Protecting, restoring and maintaining forests is a significant responsibility of governments not just for the sake of their people, but for the world at large, as greenhouse gas emissions know no borders.

Of the top five countries with the highest forest biocapacity in the world, China has shown the most remarkable trend reversal, followed by the United States.

Planting trees is an important, wonderful mission to pursue. But at least as important is focusing on reducing the demand we put on forests. First and foremost: carbon sequestration. Because we produce more carbon than our forests can absorb, it accumulates in the atmosphere and contributes to climate change. Since we can never plant enough trees to mitigate climate change, the path is clear: we need to reduce our carbon emissions. Click here for more information and graphs about the status of forests around the world.

从户外派对到环保意识,一位学生对于中国“地球一小时” 的看法

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因此,国家生态足迹受到了新计算方法的影响。若一个国家的碳足迹占生态足迹的比例越大,那么较去年的结果,其今年生态足迹就会有越大幅度的上升。 例如,阿曼苏丹国的碳足迹占其生态足迹高达77%的份额,较去年,阿曼在世界“需求高于生态系统再生”的排名中上升超过20位(阿曼现已成为世界前15位的生态负债国)。与此同时,埃塞俄比亚的碳足迹占其生态足迹的7%,在同一排名中下降16位。



  • PIGS国家 (葡萄牙, 意大利, 希腊, 西班牙) 自00年代中期开始,其人均生态足迹平稳下降。相反地,欧洲经济强国如德国法国自2008年金融危机以来人均生态足迹反弹上升。是什么使得PIGS国家既可以强化经济发展同时减少生态足迹?
  • 亚洲经济高速发展国家,如印度中国韩国,和越南由于居民生活水平提高,人均生态足迹出现了明显上升。


  • 低收入高人口增长(快速增长需求)或者剧烈动荡的国家(农业活动和产品受阻)——包括洪都拉斯,尼日尔和索马里——正在触及着自身生态系统支持(生物承载力)人口需求(生态足迹)的临界点。





1961年,即数据可追溯到的第一年,我们的地球可以提供多于人类所需的37%资源和服务。从那以后,全球足迹负债——人类所需超过自然预算——明显扩大。2016年国家足迹核算表明,由于过度捕鱼,森林过度砍伐和最严重的碳排放远超过生态系统可吸收量, 世界人口所需已经64%多于自然可提供。这将导致包括野生动物失去家园,渔业崩溃,和大气变化的严重后果。

更多关于国家足迹核算中碳足迹计算的方法可以参考同行Ecological Indicators的评审文章生态足迹: 重新定义碳足迹计算.



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Ecological Footprint data received an eye-opening visual treatment in a recent article in Geographical Magazine, by Benjamin Hennig, Senior Research Fellow in the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford. Using Ecological Footprint data in the latest Happy Planet Index, Hennig resized a map of the world to reflect each nation’s Ecological Footprint per capita and global population distribution. He then added a traffic light color scheme to reflect the number of planets that would be needed if the world as a whole lived the lifestyle of each country.