As we all know, China is growing rapidly. It is focusing a lot on clean energy and other clean tech, but it is also using a lot of dirty energy and is consuming natural resources like never before.
Some may not want to believe it, but the Earth has finite resources and finite abilities to support forms of life like our own. With China expanding fast, other countries expanding fast as well, and countries like the United States living far beyond our natural means, this puts us all in quite a difficult situation.
A new report out by the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) and the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED), created with the assistance of the Global Footprint Network and China’s Institute of Geographic Sciences and National Resources Research (IGSNRR), the “China Ecological Footprint Report 2010,” comprehensively analyzes the ecological footprint of China and provides us with some important information.
“A world consuming resources and producing wastes at Chinese levels for 2007 would need the equivalent of 1.2 planets to support its activities, compared to 0.8 of a planet at 2003 Chinese consumption levels,” the WWF reports. “The global average in 2007 was 1.5 planets, meaning that it would take 1.5 years for the Earth to regenerate the resources used and to absorb the CO2 emitted that year.”
China is a major economic powerhouse now (even if some still refer to it as an “emerging economy”). China’s per capita income has grown more than 50 times over in the last few decades. If we are going to address ecological threats and create an ecologically sustainable future, improving the ecological sustainability of China is going to be more and more critical.
As the reports says, “How to bring about a harmonious relationship between socioeconomic and ecological systems is the key issue for the long term development of China and human society as a whole.”
For more info, read the China Ecological Footprint Report 2010 [PDF].
Photo Credit: cuellar via flickr (CC license)