Response to WWF's Ecological Footprint Report

The WWF report ranks cities by their Ecological Footprint - this is the measure of land that can be attributed to resource consumption.

It measures the hectares it takes to grow our food and farm the animals we eat; the area that our house stands on and that oil refineries and other energy infrastructure we depend on take up; the hectares of forest that would be needed to absorb the CO2 emitted by our fuels; a share of the area taken up by our roads; and everything else we do that has an impact on the planet’s ecology.

In response, Leader of Winchester City Council George Beckett said: “The WWF report is really a critique of lifestyles in the South East region – or arguably much of the western world – and we are of course concerned that Winchester is having a negative impact on the environment.

The commitment to change by residents, organisations and businesses is crucial in making a difference – this is not something the Council can do alone.

We are taking action by creating a climate change plan for the district, improving recycling rates (now 44%), providing park and ride and eco-friendly buses, and improving energy efficiency of council houses but we acknowledge there is always more to be done.

An ecological footprint is different to the carbon footprint.  A carbon footprint isn’t a measure of a physical area in the same way as an ecological footprint. It is simply a measure of carbon dioxide emissions generated by people’s consumption activities

They are closely linked, and action to reduce our carbon footprint will also reduce our ecological footprint.

Read the WWF report

Listen to George Beckett on Radio 4's Today Programme
(Tuesday 23 October 2007 - 7.20am)