ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT EXPLORER OPEN DATA PLATFORM LAUNCHES APRIL 5, 2017
The US per person Ecological Footprint dropped nearly 20% during the last eight years of available data (2005 and 2013), a total reduction that matches the entire Footprint of Germany.
Global Footprint Network is thrilled to announce that Ecological Footprint data for over 200 countries and regions is now freely available, searchable, and downloadable on the Ecological Footprint Explorer open data platform at data.footprintnetwork.org.
By offering researchers, analysts, and decision-makers a new and deeper way to interact with and explore Ecological Footprint data, Global Footprint Network, an international research organization, aims to amplify its ability to change how the world manages its natural resources and create a sustainable future.
“We live on one planet with limited natural resources. That’s a reality we need to carefully track and address if we’re serious about fulfilling the global commitments of the Paris Climate Accord and the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Mathis Wackernagel, co-inventor of the Ecological Footprint and CEO of Global Footprint Network.
Global Footprint Network will hold two webinars, on April 5 and 6, to present and explain the new open data platform.
Please register below:
Ecological Footprint Explorer Webinar April 5 11 am PT / 2 pm ET / 6 pm GMT
April 6 7 am PT/ 10 am ET / 2 pm GMT
A formal launch event will be held in San Francisco on April 27. Thought leaders from Google Earth, Aclima, Capgemini, data.world, and the City of Oakland will join a panel discussion on the crucial role of data in taking action to effectively advance sustainability.
National Footprint Accounts 2017
The launch of the Footprint Explorer coincides with the release of Global Footprint Network’s National Footprint Accounts (NFAs) 2017 Edition. Every year, the organization produces a new edition of its NFAs, which track the evolution of the Ecological Footprint of more than 200 countries and regions from 1961 to the present. Based on approximately 15,000 data points per country per year, this data has been used to influence policy in more than a dozen countries, including Ecuador, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Russia, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates. “The Ecological Footprint is a critical tool for ensuring that we mitigate and adapt to climate change while also preserving the integrity of our vital natural resources and protecting our country from future risk,” said the former President of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino II, in a Global Footprint Network report on the Ecological Footprint of the Philippines. The 2017 NFAs incorporate the latest data from UN statistics, the International Energy Agency, and over 20 other secondary scientific datasets to provide results up to the latest year possible, 2013.
Highlights from NFA 2017 include:
- The US per person Ecological Footprint fell nearly 20% between 2005 (a peak) and 2013, amounting to the single largest total Footprint reduction for any country over the same period—that reduction is equivalent to Germany’s total 2013 Ecological Footprint. This significant shift, which includes a post-recession pick up, is associated mostly with decreasing carbon emissions and, to a smaller extent, lower forest Footprint likely related to the recession and housing market decline, and trade. US per person GDP grew about 20% over the same period, making the USA a compelling case of decoupling (with economic growth and natural resource consumption following opposite trends).
Read more about how this decoupling trend runs counter to US President Donald Trump’s recent climate actions in our Huffington Post article.
- Australia’s per person Ecological Footprint fell 22% between 2003 and 2013. This can be mostly attributed to a carbon Footprint decrease. Explanations include a drop in household electricity demand in 2010, possibly due to energy standards on appliances and increasing electricity prices. Furthermore, the carbon pricing system enacted by the Labor Party is concomitant with the carbon Footprint drop observed from 2012 to 2013. We look forward to seeing economists and energy policy experts in Australia use our data and provide a more detailed analysis, potentially drawing useful lessons for future policy making.
- Uruguay has been able to gradually and consistently lower its Footprint per person since 1995 while increasing its Human Development Index (HDI) from Medium-High to currently on the cusp of Very High, due to continual increases in life expectancy (health), education and gross net income per person. It remains to be seen how Uruguay’s National Energy Policy (implemented in 2010), which promotes biofuels and wind energy generation, will impact the decrease of the Footprint going forward, and whether the country will reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the transportation sector, which is still mostly petroleum-based. Since the downward trend in Footprint started 15 years before the Energy Policy implementation, other factors than renewables have obviously been at work behind the Footprint’s downward trend. We’re looking forward to experts and analysts picking up this data as an area of research to reveal the reasons underlying Uruguay’s Ecological Footprint’s consistent decline, and to provide useful analysis for future policy making in Uruguay and in other countries around the world.
Please take some time to check out the Ecological Footprint Explorer.
If you are an advanced data user, you can also download our data and run queries through data.world/footprint. We look forward to receiving your feedback via email at [email protected]
Stay tuned for additional features coming soon!
The Global Footprint Network Team