14 Oct 2010

Australia ranked among most unsustainable countries

A new report has ranked Australia in the top 10 most unsustainable countries on the planet.

The study, commissioned by WWF, measured the amount of natural resources needed to sustain a person's lifestyle, including energy, transport, food and infrastructure.

Australia ranked eighth in the study. The countries with a worse footprint than Australia are the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Denmark, Belgium, the United States, Estonia and Canada.

WWF spokesman Dermot O'Gorman says every Australian person requires about seven hectares to live their current lifestyle.

"The report looks at the ecological footprint of individuals and that's measured in the report in global hectares, which is a reflection of how much food, transport and urban infrastructure we require to live our lives," he said.

The report also found the Earth has lost about a third of biodiversity since 1970.
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Consumption outstrips Earth's production
HUMANS are churning through the Earth's resources at 1.5 times the rate that nature can replace them - and the over-consumption rate is worsening.

The Living Planet Report, by environment group WWF, estimates that the Earth has enough productive land and sea for each person to use 1.8 hectares to draw the resources they need. In 2007, the average person used 2.7 hectares.
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