Benet Northcote, one of the authors of the Quality of Life report and now Chief Policy Adviser for Greenpeace UK, argues that the pivotal challenge of maintaining both consumption and wellbeing can't be ignored.
Let’s tackle this head on: how poor do you have to be to talk about global consumption? It seems a strange question, but it’s been mulling in my mind since reading Tim’s post about the Quality of Life Report from a few weeks ago.
First some background. The simple truth is the world is consuming too much of our natural resources. Every year WWF publish their One Planet Living Index. Simply put, if everyone in the world consumed the same as we do, and we wish to live in a sustainable way, then we would need three planets not one.
If you factor in the effects of climate change, then this ratio will rapidly deteriorate. India and China are developing fast, and citizens are demanding ever more consumption. The pressure on arable land and water supplies will become real issues for global stability as people want more. Resource conflicts are already a reality and this is likely to get worse.