Resource use near double capacity
Experts say the world is spending 173 per cent of its natural resource capacity.
Three in four people across the world live in a low-income country spending more natural resources than it has, according to a new paper.
To maintain progress and eradicate poverty, countries need either sufficient natural resources within their country to match their ecological footprint, or money to competitively buy what they need on markets abroad.
When neither of these two conditions are met, countries may end up in an ecological poverty trap — a situation in which the country’s natural resources are insufficient to provide enough food, fibres, building materials and CO2 sequestration, among other factors.
Researchers from the US have analysed the biological capacity of a country compared to its footprint of consumption, and found over 5.3 billion people lived in countries with a greater footprint than their resources in 2017.
That group spent 96 per cent of the world's biocapacity.
Over one billion people lived in high-income countries that were also spending more than they have at a combined total of 52 per cent of the world's biocapacity.
Over one billion people lived in countries with more biocapacity than they used.
Overall, the global population is overusing its natural resources at 173 per cent of the world's biocapacity.