Dutch ecological footprint grows

The Netherlands needs six times more land than it actually has to provide all the goods and services it uses, according to the latest Living Planet Report complied by the World Wildlife Fund.

This means the Netherlands has one of the biggest ecological footprints in the world and is now ninth in the global rankings. In the previous report two years ago, the Netherlands was in 11th place. Qatar, Kuwait and the UAE top the list.
The report states the Dutch ecological footprint in terms of global hectares is 6.34, but the earth itself can only support a footprint of 1.8 hectares. This means if everyone in the world had the same lifestyle as the Dutch, the earth would need to be 3.5 times as big.
In particular, the Dutch produce large amounts of carbon-dioxide because they use a lot of energy, Natasja Oerlemans of the WWF told the Volkskrant. The Dutch make long journeys by car and plane and their houses are often not well-insulated, she said.
The Dutch also consume high levels of meat and dairy produce. ‘Producing meat and dairy requires a lot more land than growing grain,’ she pointed out.
The report is based on figures from 2008.
This year’s report was launched by Dutch astronaut André Kuipers who is currently on board the International Space Station.

Download the report

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