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Wealthy have big eco-footprints

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CANWEST OTTAWA – When it comes to ecological footprints, wealthy Canadians are a confirmed size 12, creating a global warming impact 66 per cent greater than the average household, according to a new study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

The study is the first to link national income and consumption patterns with global warming, and it showed that the richest 10 per cent of Canadians create an environmental footprint that’s 2.5 times the size of those created by the lowest 10 per cent on an income scale.

“When we look at where the environmental impact of human activity comes from, we see that size really does matter,” said Hugh Mackenzie, a research associate for the Ottawa-based think-tank and co-author of the study. “Higher-income Canadians create a much bigger footprint than poorer Canadians.”

When it comes to the wealthiest Canadians, their environmental footprint requires 12.4 hectares per capita, compared with the average Canadian’s 7.5-hectare footprint. Globally, the average Canadian’s footprint is still several times the average of those in poorer nations.

– Canwest News Service

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