The world’s biggest consumer of natural resources is the United Arab Emirates. If every country mirrored the UAE’s ecological footprint, we would need more than four planets to satisfy demand.
Ecological footprints assess the hectares of land and sea a country would need to regenerate the resources consumed by its average citizen. Each footprint is a measure of the average citizen’s consumption of carbon, cropland, forest, fishing ground and grazing land.
Denmark is one of the worst offenders, using more cropland per capita than any other country. Australia’s ecological footprint of 7.8 hectares is large, but its biocapacity (the amount of biologically productive land and sea) is almost twice this size.
The UK has a footprint of 5.3 hectares, but with a biocapacity of 1.6 hectares, it consumes more than three times the resources it produces.
Sources: Global Footprint Network, WWF
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