WWF calls for sustainable economy

2012-05-15 13:01

Cape Town - The World Wide Fund for Nature has released its Living Planet Report which has found that growing demand is putting strain on biodiversity.

"We are living as if we have an extra planet at our disposal. We are using 50% more resources than the Earth can sustainably produce and unless we change course, that number will grow fast - by 2030 even two planets will not be enough," said Dr Morné du Plessis, CEO of WWF South Africa.

The organisation is not against development to halt damage to ecosystems, particularly water systems, but development that was viable in terms of the future security for the global population, Du Plessis Told News24.

He said that evidence showed that a 2°C to 3°C warming was possible, but warned that if there was no change in behaviour, more drastic scenarios like 5°C warming could occur.

"We can imagine that if we continue business as usual, we can almost certainly get there [5°C warming]; it's just a question of when," said Du Plessis.

Fossil fuel

The report said that increasing population growth, particularly in poor countries has led to a 323% increase in the total ecological footprint of low-income countries since 1961.

"Without global action, we're likely to hit that kind of scenario" of 5°C warming, said Saliem Fakir, head of WWF's Living Planet Unit.

The organisation insisted that global dependence on fossil fuel was unsustainable, but as population growth continued, it would place additional pressure on countries to use fossil fuels to power economies.

"Countries don't take significant steps to reduce their emissions and one of those is to reduce our dependence on fossil fuel. All the projections are that by 2030, fossil fuel intensity is going to grow," said Fakir.

The organisation slammed fossil fuel subsidies, estimated to be about $700bn globally, that supported the industry, while programmes supporting renewable energy suffer funding shortfalls.

"One of the things - the G20 countries have already agreed to do this - is to stop subsidising fossil fuel. If we just get rid of those subsidies, we'll be taking a step in the right direction," Richard Worthington, WWF SA climate change programme manager, told News24.

The WWF called for management of waste in the supply chain of industry and particular attention should be given to forests and damaged ecological systems.

- Follow Duncan on Twitter

Read more on:    wwf  |  environment

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


ANCYL: Not voting would be blasphemy

Not voting in the forthcoming elections would be blasphemy, the ANCYL says in a statement commemorating the 50th anniversary of struggle icon Nelson Mandela's Rivonia trial speech.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia C3

The Nokia C3 Features a 2+ Megapixel Camera, A2DP, Bluetooth,...

From R1175.00

I'm shopping for:


There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you by...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.