BC3. Basque centre for climate change – Klima aldaketa ikergai

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BC3 Policy Briefings

The basque ecological debt: global socioecological impacts of a small open economy


Author(s): Eneko Garmendia, Leire Urkidi, Iñaki Arto

Date: 2013-08-08

Issue: 2013-04

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  • Globalisation of the world economy has increased the material and energy flows around the planet raising the pressure over the environment. In this context, it becomes critical to better understand the links between current consumption and production patterns and associated socio-ecological impacts at multiple scales.

  • The energy and material consumption in the Basque Country illustrates the resource dependency and impact of northern open industrialised economies in the Global South, where, paradoxically, resource rich countries are facing serious difficulties to get out of poverty traps.

  • As the resource availability and waste absorption capacity of the planet are reaching its limits, it becomes more necessary to reduce the resource consumption and pollution of developed countries so that the basic needs of all humans can be met, without dilapidating the environment and hence the possibilities of future generations.

  • Rich countries should also reduce their resource dependency and ensure that their consumption and production patterns fit to environmental and social standards, not only within their territory, but also abroad, where the commodity frontiers are expanding inexorably to access new resources.

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