The Global Resource Footprint of Nations
Carbon, water, land and materials embodied in trade and final consumption calculated with EXIOBASE 2.1
Arnold Tukker, Tatyana Bulavskaya, Stefan Giljum, Arjan de Koning, Stephan Lutter, Moana Simas, Konstantin Stadler, Richard Wood
We are proud to present this booklet, the result of years of hard work. This is the first time, to our knowledge, that the total global environmental footprint – encompassing the carbon, water, land and material consumption footprint of various countries – has been compiled using one detailed, consistent and comprehensive global economic-environmental database.
Using the latest version of EXIOBASE, this booklet endeavours to provide an insight into the environmental footprint of final consumption in the countries covered. It presents 43 country factsheets encapsulating the carbon, water, land and material footprint of final consumption in the countries covered by EXIOBASE. In this, it was decided to use simple indicators. The carbon footprint adds up greenhouse gases like CO2, CH4 and N2O as CO2-equivalents – using weights reflecting the contribution to global warming of a tonne of emissions of a specific greenhouse gas relative to a tonne of emissions of CO2. Land use cover change is not included in the carbon footprint indicator used here. For materials, the volume extracted has been counted, for water, the volume consumed (withdrawal minus return of flows) and for land, the surface used. It may be argued that for water, for instance, the scarcity in the river basin from which it is extracted should be taken into account, or for land use, the (agricultural) productivity of this land. On such more sophisticated indicators for water, land and material use, however, the consensus is still limited.
The booklet further showcases a number of comparative analyses, such as how environmental pressures correlate to GDP, Human Development Index (HDI), and population of a country. It illustrates the extent to which many developed countries rely on the carbon, water, land and material footprint from abroad.