Importing carrying capacity: Global trade and the accumulation of ecological debt

Wackernagel, M. & Giljum, S. (2001)

In: Natur und Kultur. 2 (1), 33-54.

In a sustainable world, we should live on the interests of the planet’s natural capital. However, increasing evidence suggests that humanity’s ecological demand is exceeding the regenerative capacity of the biosphere. The expanding global economic activities exacerbate this trend, particularly since they allow the rich countries to overcome the constraints imposed by the limited productivity of their national ecosystems. This path of ecologically unbalanced globalization, however, will lead humanity into an impasse, since not all nations can be net-importers of ecological capacity.

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