Publishers: Qingfeng Browse: Release time:2012-01-22 Print this page
Human demands on natural resources have doubled in under 50 years and are now outstripping what the Earth can provide by more than half, a new report has warned.
And humanity carries on as it is in use of resources, globally it will need the capacity of two Earths by 2030, the biennial Living Planet Report said.
Wildlife in tropical countries is also under huge pressure, with populations of species falling by 60 per cent in three decades.
And the report, from the WWF, the Zoological Society of London and the Global Footprint Network, said British people are still consuming far more than the Earth can cope with.
If everyone lived such a lifestyle, humans would need 2.75 planets to survive, it warned.
The world's people are now living lifestyles which would require one and a half planets to sustain, though there are significant differences between rich and poor nations.
The study's authors looked at 8,000 populations of 2,500 species and studied the change in land use and water consumption across the globe.
The UK comes 31st in a list of countries based on their 'ecological footprint' - the amount of land and sea each person needs to provide the food, clothes and other products they consume and to absorb the carbon dioxide they emit.
The country has fallen down the league table from having the 15th biggest footprint in the last report two years ago, but WWF attributes this to an increase in other countries' impact rather than a reduction in the UK's use of resources.
Ireland has the 10th highest ecological footprint in the world, while the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Denmark, Belgium and the US are the five worst countries for over-consumption of resources.
Much of the 'ecological overshoot' is caused by the world's rising carbon footprint, which has increased 11-fold since 1961.
It also carried a warning about the loss of wildlife and ecosystems which people depend on for food, fuel, clean water and other resources - with populations of species declining by 30 per cent worldwide between 1970 and 2007.