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Cuba: sustainability pioneer?

In the fall of 2006, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Living Planet Report found that* Cuba is the only country in the world which meets its criteria for sustainable development*. Cuba alone, according to WWF, manages to achieve certain basic living standards without extracting resources in a way that exceeds nature's ability to renew them. How do we account for these findings and what can we learn from them?

WWF determines a country's sustainable development by comparing its rating on the United Nations' Human Development Index, a measure of human welfare (health, education, poverty, etc.) to its ecological footprint, as largely reflected in its per capita fossil fuel consumption. According to the WWF report, both China and India still have fairly small per capita ecological footprints but neither has achieved minimum development standards. Cuba has. The United States, as expected, is highly developed but with a rate of energy use and consumption eight times higher than the world's capacity to sustain it.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Oct 2nd, 2010 at 09:56:10 AM EST
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