Footprint Network News: Economics for a Planet in Overdraft

UN: greening key economic sectors could cut humanity's Footprint in half

Investing just 2 percent of global GDP to green key sectors of the economy could cut humanity's Ecological Footprint almost in half while actually boosting economic growth, according to a new report by the United Nations Environmental Programme.

The report cites Global Footprint Network data as evidence of the challenge humanity has faced in improving human welfare without also incurring large increases in ecological demand.


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 “Climate Change is Not the Problem.”  Find out what is.

Learn how all of the major ecological crises we face today are symptoms of a single, over-arching problem – and what we are doing about it.

Click here to read our Annual Report.


Visualizing the Value of Nature

Earlier this year, Visualizing.org, a creative community working to use data and design to help communicate complex issues, presented a challenge: How to illustrate the value of nature and our use of nature's services.The group joined up with TEEB (the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity), a UN-sponsored effort to put a dollar figure on nature's services such as providing fuel, food, water and habitat, by assessing both their economic benefits and the costs associated with their depletion.

The winning entry for the challenge used Global Footprint Network data to show the relationship between countries' ecological demand, their biocapacity and the size of their deficit or reserve.Check out the winning entry (below).


 UN Roundtable to Address Sustainability's Economic Imperative



Global Footprint Network President Mathis Wackernagel will join Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown; Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme; and other speakers at a United Nations meeting of global financial leaders in Washington, D.C. this fall exploring the link between financial stability and sustainability .


The biannual meeting of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Global Roundtable is a biannual, high-level conference that typically attracts a select group of 600 banking, insurance and investment leaders and global thinkers for an intensive, two-day dialogue. This year’s discussion is positioned to channel the views of the financial services sector into the discussions at the so-called “Rio + 20” Conference, a UN summit that will gather world leaders in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 20 years after the original Rio Earth Summit.


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California EPA to Add Footprint to its Dashboard


The US Environmental Protection Agency's Region 9 , covering California and the Pacific Southwest, has contracted Global Footprint Network to conduct the first in-depth Ecological Footprint analysis of a US state. The agency plans to incorporate the Ecological and water Footprints into a larger dashboard of sustainability indicators.


Global Footprint Network's data will contribute to an analysis that will explore issues such as how much of harvested land is irrigated, how much of California's biocapacity is occupied by built-up land, and how California's patterns of ecological demand compare to other states. It will also explore new areas in Footprint and biocapacity research, such as how demand on biological and water resources could affect the state's ecological productivity.

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San Francisco Looks at its Footprint

Recently, the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) teamed up with Global Footprint Network to explore the Ecological Footprint of San Francisco, a city that prides itself on leading the US in forward-thinking sustainability policies.


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