Since Monday, Switzerland has been living on credit in terms of energy –

Since Monday, Switzerland has been living on credit in terms of energy –
Since Monday, Switzerland has been living on credit in terms of energy –

Switzerland has exhausted all its natural resources for the rest of the year, mathematically speaking. According to the Global Footprint Network, the country will have consumed 2.5 times more resources than the globally available share by the end of the year.

More than two planet Earths would be needed if everyone lived like the Swiss population. Swiss consumption is unsustainable and “we are living to the detriment of future generations and other regions of the world,” Greenpeace wrote in a press release on Thursday.

The environmental organization uses data from the “Global Footprint Network”, which analyzes the ecological footprint in most countries. Its method is validated by the federal offices of statistics (FSO), territorial development (ARE), environment (FOEN) and the Department of Cooperation and Development (DDC).

The “overshoot day”

“Overshoot Day” highlights the imbalance between Switzerland’s ecological footprint per person and global biocapacity. This way of life is only possible through the importation of natural resources as well as by exploiting global commons like the atmosphere.

Nearly two thirds of Switzerland’s ecological footprint is attributable to its consumption of fossil energy. The need for cropland, forest and natural meadows (grassland) represents 31% of the total ecological footprint.


In 2022 the global ecological footprint per person exceeded the global available biocapacity per person by 1.1 gha. This average, however, hides significant differences in the consumption of resources: most industrialized countries consume more than two planets Earth, while the countries of the Indian subcontinent, South-East Asia and Africa consume less. of one.

Switzerland’s per capita footprint is around the average for Western European countries. And other countries are still doing much worse. Qatar, Luxembourg, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Estonia, Brunei, Latvia, Mongolia, Belize, United States, Canada, Denmark, Oman, Belgium and Lithuania consumed more than 4 times more than the available global biocapacity.

The method

The ecological footprint is a kind of “resource accounting”. The use of natural resources is sustainable as long as the ecological footprint does not exceed the biocapacity.

But the ecological footprint does not measure everything and ignores the state of natural resource stocks. It also does not take into account the destruction of ecosystems or renewable and non-renewable natural resources, the loss of biodiversity, the consumption of fresh water or even pollution due to heavy metals or emissions of pollutants that are difficult to achieve. degradable.




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