human impact

If everyone else lived like Australians, we’d need three and a half planets to support us.


a growing footprint

1. Since 1961, humanity’s ecological footprint has tripled

2. Since 1970, the total mass of plants and animals on earth has fallen by 40 per cent while 30 per cent of earth’s wildlife and natural ecosystems have been lost.

3. Globally, annual greenhouse emissions have risen 28 per cent since 1990 and they are still increasing every year.

4. The world’s population rose from two billion in 1930 to six billion in 2000 and is set to top nine billion by 2050.


Australia and global warming
Australia, with 0.32 per cent of the world’s population, produces 1.43 per cent of global CO2 emissions. We have the world’s highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions at 27 tonnes each – just ahead of the US and more than twice as much as the UK, Japan or Germany. Since 1980, emissions in Australia have risen twice as fast as in the US and five times faster than in Europe (CSIRO).


Australia’s green world ranking

x most greenhouse gas emissions per person

x third highest water use per person

x fourth highest number of species threatened with extinction

x fifth most waste per person

x destroys more native vegetation per year than any other developed nation.

x sixth highest ecological footprint

(sources: various; ACF, IUCN Red List; OECD; Wilderness Society; WWF Living Planet Report 2006)


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