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Czechs among the worst ecological offenders

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Thanks to their non-ecological ways, Czechs have become a nation with one of the worst ecological footprints.

If the world’s population were to live like the Czechs, we would need another 1.5 planets aside from the one we already occupy to survive.

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, the Czech Republic ranks within the top 15 countries with the biggest ecological footprint.

The assessment shows how a person’s energy consumption— by driving a car or producing waste—burdens the planet. According to the latest Living Planet Report, the area available to produce resources and capture emissions averages 2.1 global hectares per person.

Meanwhile, every Czech requires 5.3 hectares for everyday life— a statistic that rates the country as 14 worst planet pest. “The number is really high,” Viktor Třebický who studies indicators of sustainable development said.

The crisis came later
The Living Planet Reports show that the Czech Republic’s ecological footprint is mildly but continuously rising, mirroring to a large extent the rise in living conditions and economic development. How is this possible even though a domestic economic crisis struck last year and production dropped?

According to Třebický, the data featured in the latest report are a few years old and don’t work in the crisis. In fact, the report builds on data from when Czech GDP was record high.

Too much electricity from coal sources
In theory, then, the ecological footprint of an average Czech might have decreased in the past year.
Similarly, the crisis might depress the ecological footprint of other states as well, so the Czech Republic might in the end keep its 14th spot.

The country’s ranking also owes, for instance, to the fact that most electricity is still made in coal-run power plants which substantially tarnishes the ecological footprint.

First-world nations live off ecological debts
Essentially all first-world countries have an excessively high ecological footprint. The record sums belong to United Arab Emirates and US.

Poor nations such as Angola and Afghanistan rank last.

“The problem is that we want to consume more than the planet offers and we tend not to think about the consequences,” head of Climate Change Programme at nef (the new economics foundation), an award-winning UK think-and-do tank, Andrew Simms said a while back.

Global hectares per year

* 1.United Arab Emirates: 9.5
* 2.USA: 9.4
* 3.Kuwait: 8.9
* 4. Denmark: 8.0
* 14. Czech Republic: 5.4
* 18. Sweden: 5.1
* 30. Germany: 4.2
* 33. Poland: 4.0

* 36. Russia: 3.7
* 45: Slovakia: 3.3
* 53. Romania: 2.9
* 74. China: 2.1
* 84. Cuba: 1.8
* 109. Vietnam: 1.3
* 131. Angola: 0.9
* 150. Afghanistan: 0.5

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