Footprint: Rich vs Poor
But decisions undertaken by governments and businesses have a substantial influence on the Ecological Footprint too. For example, individuals generally have no direct control over the size of the built-up land footprint. The same is true for the way in which a country produces its electricity or the intensity of its agricultural production.
This “inherited” part of the Ecological Footprint can be influenced through mechanisms such as political engagement, green technology and innovation, and other work toward large-scale social change. Governments and businesses therefore play an important role in reducing the Ecological Footprint of each person.
If everyone lived like an average resident of the USA, a total of four earths would be required to regenerate humanity’s annual demand on nature.