The link between economy development with ecological risk has been explored for decades. In a simple way, the higher economic growth, the higher ecological risks. A recent report published by Global Footprint Network showing similar findings with focus on financial crisis occurred in 2008.
The National Footprint Accounts 2014 data shows that in 2008, high-income countries’
average demand on nature dropped significantly during global financial crisis.
The release also show interesting facts on country-level footprint:
- High-income countries’ per capita Ecological Footprints were triple compare to middle-income countries, and five times compare to low-income countries; during 2008 to 2009 the figure was declined. Most middle- and low-income countries either maintained or increased their per capita demand on nature during the global financial crisis. Carbon component makes up a larger share of high-income countries’ Ecological Footprints than it does for middle- and low-income countries.
- The carbon component of the United States’ Ecological Footprint accounts for two-thirds of its total Footprint. The US’ carbon Footprint decreased 13 percent from 2008 to 2009 and started to grow again in 2010.
- China’s per person Footprint has nearly doubled since the 1990s, which is particularly stunning considering the country’s population size.
According to Global Footprint Network release, during the oil crises and ensuing recessions in the 1970s and 1980s, high-income countries’ per person Footprints steeply declined; as economies started to expand, Footprint sizes grew.
Global Footprint Network uses data set from various international organizations such FAO, United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database and other data from the UN Statistics Division, the International Energy Agency, include IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).