Show your support to the One Earth Footprint Manifesto

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Our planet is in a dire state. Several environmental planetary boundaries are being transgressed: every day vast chunks of rainforest are mercilessly felled for purposes of the global agrobusiness. Dozens of plant and animal species disappear every year, threatening to dangerously disrupt the ecosystems. Billions of bees, the pollinators of at least 30 % of our crops, are killed by a cocktail of pesticides. Industrial overfishing leads to the collapse of fishstocks in the oceans, aquifers with rare and precious freshwater are irreparably depleted by industrial farming that also destroys agricultural soils, the very source of our alimentation. Ice caps and glaciers are melting causing sealevels to rise. As 90 percent of the global human population lives in relatively close proximity to the coasts this is going to have a direct and devastating impact on the vast majority of the people on the planet. Each of these facts alone represents a threat to the survival of billions of people. Together they form a deadly cocktail.

The leaders we trusted to take care of our interests are failing us. They miss the consciousness, the will or the courage to say how bad things are really getting and to propose solutions that actually match the scale of the problem. In terms of climate change alone, there is a 1 in 10 risk of going beyond an increase of 6°C by 2100 if we don’t act now. Such a temperature rise makes human life impossible in most places on earth. As a comparison, a 1 in 10 probability is the equivalent of accepting about 10,000 airplanes crashing every day worldwide! But climate change is not the only issue. All planetary boundaries are crossed to a certain degree and they mutually reinforce each other, strongly increasing the dangers.

Considering the absurdly high risks humanity is facing, we must implement a fast transition to a One-Earth Footprint for everyone by 2025.

Concretely, this means that we should not use up more of the environment in one year than the earth can regenerate in the same time. Right now humanity as a whole uses the equivalent of 1,5 planets. This corresponds to an average Ecological Footprint per person of 2,7 global hectares (belgians use 7,45). Living within a One Earth Footprint means that 1,7 global hectare (gha) needs to suffice for every human being. Therefore we should not only dramatically reduce our CO2 emissions, but we also need to stop deforestation, pollution of the biosphere, diminishing biodiversity, depleting fresh water, degrading farmland, destroying ocean life and depleting the ozone in the stratosphere.

Only a national and international democratic management of the world’s resources, and of environmental and human needs, can implement this shift away from destruction. Freedom of enterprise, free market and globalisation are only secondary to the primacy of One-Earth sustainability and the birth right of every earthling to its equal share of the planet. Individual liberty cannot be severed from individual responsibility. Our primary commandment is to live within the carrying capacity of our planet.

I support the four declarations of the ONE EARTH FOOTPRINT MANIFESTO:

« I agree to live within a One-Earth Footprint even if it means changing my lifestyle radically, if everybody else also has to. »

« I agree that everyone on earth has a birth right to an equal share of the world’s resources and the total available environmental space. »

« I agree that we must share the earth with all other species and respect their right to thrive on earth. »

« In the name of life and guided by the precautionary principle, I demand that all national and international leaders, present and future, would implement an equitable transition to a One-Earth Ecological Footprint for all by 2025 as THE top priority for mankind while assuring that the fundamental needs of all humans are met. »