Global Footpint Calculation
May 11, 2008Public
Photo: Footprints per region. Calculations can be viewed on Based on the footprint by region, on the link the Cost-of-Planet of CO2 emission is calculated. The global CO2 emission figures on which this calculation is based is given on the link An explanation of the Cost-of-Planet method is given on
Photo: This figure shows the components of the world's average per person Ecological Footprint.
Photo: This figure shows the ratio between the world's demand and the world's biocapacity in each year, and how this ratio has changed over time. Expressed in terms of "number of planets," the biocapacity of the Earth is always 1 (represented by the horizontal blue line). This graph shows how humanity has moved from using, in net terms, about half the planet's biocapacity in 1961 to over 1.25 times the biocapacity of the Earth in 2003. The global ecological deficit of 0.25 Earths is equal to the globe's ecological overshoot.
Photo: This figure tracks, in absolute terms, the world's average per person Ecological Footprint and per person biocapacity over a 40-year period.
Photo: Humanity's carbon Footprint has grown much faster than any other Footprint component, increasing more than nine fold since 1961 and now comprising about half the total demand we place on nature's regenerative capacity. With our overall Footprint now exceeding global biocapacity by about 30%, reducing our carbon Footprint is essential if we want to get out of overshoot. To be effective, however, this must be done in a careful, Footprint-neutral manner, and not simply by transfering demand from one Footprint component to another. For example, biofuels can be substituted for fossil fuels, but this requires cropland to grow the necessary biomass. If the resultant decrease of carbon Footprint is more than compensated for by an increase in the cropland Footprint, overshoot will grow rather than shrink.