China eating up natural resources too fast: Study

June 10th, 2008 - 2:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, June 10 (DPA) China is using natural resources twice as fast as they can be produced, according to a study released Tuesday by a Chinese and international environmental group. China’s average “ecological footprint” has doubled since the 1960s and the next 20 years would be critical if booming China is to develop a sustainable economy, said the report by the World Wide Fund for Nature(WWF) and the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development.

China’s footprint, measured at how much land is required per person to satisfy its appetite for natural resources, was put at 1.6 hectares.

While that figure lies well below the global average of 2.2 hectares, the environmental groups warned great challenges lie ahead for China because of its growing ecological footprint, large population and fast-moving economic development.

The groups suggested easy ways in which China could shrink its footprint, proposing investments in clean technologies and switching to lights that consume less electricity.

China now consumes 15 percent of the world’s natural resources, and its ecological footprint ranked it 69th out of 147 countries studied by the WWF.

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