On the eve of India’s independence, Mahatma Gandhi was asked whether he thought the country could follow the British model of industrial development. His response retains a powerful resonance in a world that has to redefi ne its relation to the earth’s ecology: "It took Britain half the resources of this planet to achieve its prosperity. How many planets will India require for development?"
We ask the same question for a world edging towards the brink of dangerous climate change. Using the annual ceiling of 14.5 Gt CO2, if emissions were frozen at the current level of 29 Gt CO2 we would need two planets. However, some countries are running a less sustainable account than others. With 15 percent of the world population, rich countries are using 90 percent of the sustainable budget. How many planets would we need if developing countries were to follow the example of these countries?
|Global carbon footprints at OECD levels would require more than one planet.|
|Emitter||CO2 emissions per capita (t CO2) 2004||Eqivalent global CO2 emissions (Gt CO2) 2004||Equivalent number of sustainable
|Source: Table 1.2 of the 2007/2008 Report|