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Changing the way we live

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Globally, people are using about 25% more natural resources than the planet can replace. In the UK, we’re consuming three times our fair share of the planet’s natural resources. We face an ‘ecological overshoot’ that will have severe consequences for both people and nature unless we humans change the way we live.  

Although advances in technology have helped people to produce things more efficiently, the benefits have been swamped by ever-higher levels of consumption by affluent Western economies and the growing middle classes in the developing world.

Some 70% of humanity’s global footprint arises from carbon emissions; other pressures are linked to commodities such as crops, meat, fish and wood, and the freshwater we take from rivers and lakes.

WWF is seeking a One Planet Future where both people and nature thrive within their fair share of what’s available. We are developing a range of One Planet sustainability initiatives to support this goal, helping to bring sustainability and equity to production, trade and consumption.

With an established track record in supporting the development of sustainable lifestyles, WWF is well placed to provide leadership in helping to reduce the UK’s footprint and supporting other countries to do the same.

Carrots for sale at local market

Food

A quarter of the world’s population do not have enough food. If we are to achieve a One Planet Future where people and nature thrive together, we need to reconsider the types of food we eat in the UK and where and how our food is produced.

Close up of street and housing

Housing

The UK's 26 million homes currently have a huge impact on the environment. Technological innovations provide opportunities to make all new homes ‘zero carbon’ – meaning that no carbon emissions are produced from energy used in the home. WWF continues to support the government's plans for ‘zero-carbon’ new housing from 2016.

Traffic on the road

Transport

WWF's One Planet Mobility programme is creating solutions that will help reduce the need for travel and encourage a shift to more sustainable ways of travelling.

Close up of UK currency

Finance

Finance serves every economic sector that has major impacts on our environment, including energy production, fishing, agriculture and logging. We need to ensure that money is only invested in areas that protect the planet and push us towards a low-carbon future.

London skyline

Economy

We can only make the changes we need if the overall management of the economy supports the shift to a one planet future.

St Paul’s Cathedral, London

Cities

This report ranks the 60 British cities by the ecological footprint of their average resident. It highlights the ways in which we are living unsustainably as well as opportunities for change.



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