Newsletter Issue 36, September 16, 2014 - Footprint Network News
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Issue 36, September 16, 2014  

Decontructing Carbon Before UN Climate Summit

Charged up by activists mobilizing for the UN Climate Summit in New York next week, we delved into our carbon Footprint data to see if we could shed light on the very intractable debates swirling around nations’ responsibilities for reducing emissions. Our intrepid research analyst David Zimmerman discovered, for instance, that while EU countries toot their horns about declining emissions, the picture is not so simple. In fact, the emissions due to the consumption of EU residents are actually increasing (except for a 2009 recession dip) when you account for all emissions, including the carbon embedded in the products and services EU citizens import. Click here to see the graphs for yourself.

As could be expected, carbon-emissions outsourcing is not just the privilege of the lone EU. David also cooked up this graphic below  for you to get a clear picture of what impact consumption in various nations has on global emissions. 

Carbon Emissions by Select Countries

Read our blog to find out more details about our carbon graphics.

As our graphics reveal, pointing fingers no simple matter.  Rather, it’s in each nation’s self-interest to establish policies to reduce its citizens’ carbon and Ecological Footprints. The alternative is more political, economic, and climate instability and uncertainty.

That’s why Global Footprint Network President Mathis Wackernagel is supporting two initiatives related to the UN Climate Summit in New York. Dr. Wackernagel is a founding signatory to a letter asking world leaders to take urgent action on climate change to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees centigrade. You, too, can add your voice here:

Dr. Wackernagel has also joined a coalition of countries, companies, NGOs and indigenous peoples organizations in endorsing the New York Declaration of Forests, which calls for halving the rate of loss of natural forests globally by 2020 and striving to end forest loss by 2030.

Ecological Footprint in Action

Today (Sept. 16) in Switzerland, Global Footprint Network is helping to spark a public debate about the Swiss economy's competitiveness in a world of tightening resource constraints. At a town hall event convened in Bern this afternoon by the Swiss Federal Office for Spatial Development (ARE), founder Global Footprint Network President Mathis Wackernagel will present five scenarios for Switzerland's economic development strategies. Read this article to get the detail. 

Those scenarios are included in a report that was commissioned by ARE and co-authored by Global Footprint Network and economic research consultancy BAKBASEL.  The report is available in EnglishGerman, and French.

Japan's food security and economic stability were the main topic of discussion at an event hosted last month by the Keidanren Nature Conservation Fund in Tokyo, featuring Global Footprint Network research economist Katsunori Iha and Asia regional director Pati Poblete. As the recent KNCF-funded Global Footprint Network study indicates, the archipelago faces a double challenge: Not only is it growing increasingly dependent on resources from the ASEAN region, but the region itself is experiencing growing ecological pressures as its population and its GDP are on the rise. 

Katsu and Pati were joined by representatives of government agencies, including the Ministry of the Environmental, and members of the private sector, including Toyota Foundation, who had heeded the invitation to come and learn about those risks and hear about opportunities to manage resources. 

Ecological Footprint in the News

Thank you for helping us share the word on Earth Overshoot Day! This year our research again garnered the interest of media outlets around the world and was a topic of conversation on countless blogs, news websites and social media threads. From a front-page headline in Italy's La Stampa to a French primetime TV report featuring an inflatable globe rolling through the streets, we're grateful that many people were given the opportunity to learn about humanity’s growing ecological deficit.  

Go here to get more detail about EOD global coverage, including a creative street performance in Berlin using Segways, a WWF-supported event for students in China and much more.

News From Our Partner Network

The British Colombia Institute of Technology (BCIT) was the first post-secondary educational institution to join our partner network, back in 2006. Jennie Moore, Director of Sustainable Development and Environment Stewardship at BCIT’s School of Construction and Environment, has led the charge, applying Footprint science to make real policy changes within her institution and for the Vancouver city government. We recently spoke with her to get the latest update. She told us Vancouver  hopes to reduce its ecological footprint by 33 percent below 2006 levels by 2020 and achieve one-planet living by 2050. As for the School of Construction and Environment, it has set a goal to reduce its institutional Footprint by 75 percent from its 2008 Footprint assessment

The full story is here.

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