DownloaD Graphic 2
Gross domestic product – purchasing power parity per capita
Source: GEO Data Portal,
compiled from World Bank 0
Africa Asia and the Pacific Europe Latin America and the Caribbean North America
Natural Resource Use and Growth
Global economic growth has been spectacular
activities, while for personal transport the majority
during the last two decades. Gross domestic
of the impacts are in the use phase, when driv-
product per capita (at purchasing power par-
ing in a car or flying in an aircraft. In general,
ity) increased by almost 1.7 per cent annually.
patterns of consumption are changing, with the
Population and economic growth, and contem-
food component decreasing and the shares for
porary consumption and production patterns fuel
transport, communication, housing, recreation and
increased demand for natural resources and place
health care on the rise.
increasing pressure on the environment.
The wealthier the society, the more resources it
tends to use and the more waste it generates.
However, long-term development can only be
achieved through sustainable management of
various assets: financial, material, human, social
and natural. Serious and persistent barriers to
sustainable development remain as environmental
degradation is undermining development and
threatens future development progress.
In developed countries, the goods-and-services
that cause the highest environmental impacts
through their life cycles have been identified as
housing, food and mobility. The dominant stage
with respect to impacts differs significantly be-
tween different goods-and-services. For food and
beverages, the majority of environmental impacts
are related to agricultural or industrial production
RESOURCE EFFICIENCY 57