NZers 'among worst for stripping natural resources'

New Zealand is one of the 10 worst countries in the world in terms of the demands each resident places on the world's natural resources.

In a result which does little to enhance New Zealand's clean green image, it was placed ninth on the list issued by the WWF conservation group of nations whose inhabitants place most demands per capita on the world's natural resources.

The WWF said in a report that humans were stripping nature at an unprecedented rate and would need two planets' worth of natural resources every year by 2050 on current trends.

The global average demand was 2.2 hectares per person of productive land or seas in 2003 to provide natural resources they used and to re-absorb their waste. This was far above the available supply of 1.8 hectares per person.

The "ecological footprints", calculated by the WWF, comprise use of fossil fuels, nuclear power, cropland, grazing land, built-up land, fishing grounds, forests. For the top nations, emissions from using fossil fuels were the main component.

The worst 10 offenders:
1. United Arab Emirates
2. United States

4. Canada
5. Kuwait
6. Australia
7. Estonia
8. Sweden
10. Norway


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