The Middle East Lives an Unsustainable Life
A study released by the Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED) said available natural resources in three Middle Eastern countries have more than halved during the last 50 years while consumption levels are over twice what local ecosystems can produce.
The report showed that Qatar has the highest ecological footprint in the world, followed by Kuwait and UAE.
The latest AFED study said if all humans lived like the average resident of Qatar, 6.6 planets would be required to satisfy this level of consumption and emissions of carbon dioxide.
The AFED said decision makers in the Arab world will need to look beyond GDP as the sole measure of performance, and must seek to complement traditional economic analysis with data on resources consumption and availability.
It does skip many peoples mind that the Middle East oil producing countries, whilst exporting large volumes of crude, also consume vast quantities as well. It is for this reason, amongst others, that many of the Arab States, such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia, have ambitious renewable energy plans.
Since China and the USA are the two countries with the biggest footprints, it would be interesting to know how many planets are needed to sustain their level of CO2 emission.
This post from 2009 (I couldn't find a more up to date one) suggests that if everyone consumed like the US we would need 5.3 planets.
For us all to consume like the UK or France then we would need 3.1 planets. 3.0 for Spain, 2.5 for Germany, and 2.4 for Japan (back in 2009 Japan still had a thriving nuclear industry, currently this figure will be much different).
Surprisingly the New Economics Foundation, which compiled the figures, has suggested that for us all to consume like CHina it would only take 0.9 planets, this is because much of China's ecological impact is actually attributable the First World, due to the outsourcing of production to that country. (Again since 2009 this number has probably increased a fair bit.)
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