Generally, the Ecological Footprint (E.F.) measures resource consumption of all human activities and converts them to the amount of land needed and the waste generated including the impact of imports and exports. It does not include both hazardous impacts of dioxins released in the atmosphere, water usage against water availability. However, the E.F. tools measure the land required to eliminating Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and the energy required to provide the water we consume. Ecological Footprint accounts calculate humanity’s demand to helping hundreds of individuals, businesses, governments and sustainability people around the world to more effectively manage the earth’s ecological assets toward a sustainable way of living.
With regard to Australia’s Ecological Footprint; the Living Planet Report 2008 indicated 7.8 global hectares (gha) per person1 which is 2.8 times the average global Footprint (2.7 gha). That is well beyond the level of what the planet can regenerate on an annual basis; about 2.1 global hectares per person per year. Most significantly, the Australian E.F. is carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels (approximately half of the total Australian Footprint!).
1 A global hectare means one hectare (approximately soccer field size) world-average productivity.