Canadians are among the worst offenders contributing to a continued decline in global biodiversity and an increase in the global ecological footprint, according to WWF's 2010 Living Planet Report.
The report, a leading statement of the planet's health, found that people are spending beyond the Earth's ecological means and dipping far into the Earth's natural capital. The ecological deficit caused by consumption of energy, water and materials at rates 50 per cent beyond supply will have serious repercussions for wildlife and ecosystems, as well as for future generations of people, all of whom depend on nature's ecological services.
The Living Planet Report
ranked Canada's ecological footprint as seventh largest per capita among the 130 nations measured. Approximately half of this footprint is the result of carbon emissions from transportation, heating and electricity production from fossil fuels, which contribute significantly to climate change.
This is more than twice the average global citizen's consumption rate and would require approximately four Earths to sustain if every human were to live as Canadians do.
Canada also ranked high in water footprint of production, another important measure of our impact on the planet, coming in 16th among the countries scored. Water footprint measures the volume of freshwater used to produce goods, measured over the full supply chain, and support household and industry use.
In order to reduce Canada's ecological footprint, WWF-Canada is calling on:
- The Canadian Government, to work aggressively to reduce Canada's carbon footprint by implementing measures that would consistently reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as increasing energy efficiency standards and supporting renewable energy programs
- Canadian industry, to become more efficient in how resources are used - especially carbon and water - generating savings for the bottom line and lower impact on the planet
- Individual Canadians, to take responsibility for our own consumption and reduce our ecological footprint through actions such as WWF-Canada's Living Planet Community