Humans will need two Earths to support our lifestyles by 2030 because we are draining the world’s resources so quickly, a new report has warned.
Produced by the World Wildlife Fund, the Zoological Society of London, the Global Footprint Network and the European Space Agency, the 2012 Living Planet Report measures humans’ ecological footprint on the planet.
At the moment, the picture is bleak, according to Jim Leape, Director General of WWF International, with resources being drained 50 per cent faster than they can be replenished.
He said: “We’re all familiar with the stories of what we’re doing to Planet Earth, the ways in which we’re changing the climate, depleting the world’s fisheries, destroying the world’s forests.
“The Living Planet report tells us the cumulative pressure we’re putting on the Earth.
“The report measures the health of nature. It looks at what’s happening to 2,600 different species, and it tells us that over the past 30 years we’ve seen a 30 per cent decline in the world’s biodiversity – but more than double in the tropics.
“The report tells us that we’re already using the earth’s resources 50 per cent faster than it can be replenished, and that, if we don’t change our ways, by 2030 we will need two planets to support us.”
Mr Leape stresses that the starting point for reducing our impact on the planet is to end our love affair with fossil fuels – “the energy technology of the 20th century” – and switch to renewable energy.
“Just that shift alone will make a huge difference on our footprint on the planet,” he added.
The report was released in the run-up to the UN Conference of Sustainable Development in Rio in June, which will see world leaders debate ways in which sustainability can be built into growing economies.
The report was launched from space - by astronaut André Kuipers in the International Space Station.