Over 4000 demand reduction in Europe’s land use

1 October 2012

In Europe, we are currently consuming an area of land one and a half times the size of our continent. This amount is increasing and as a continent Europe is putting more and more pressure on the limited land the planet has left. This is pushing up food prices, driving land-grabs, contributing to climate change and biodiversity loss, and increasing social inequalities.

Friends of the Earth Europe has been taking action to get the European Commission to address the urgent issue of Europe's land use.

With its member groups in Austria, Malta, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Czech Republic, Hungary, and England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Friends of the Earth launched an e-action in May asking supporters to write to the European Commissioner for the Environment, Janez Potočnik.

4,087 people responded to the call sending a strong message to Commissioner Potocnik and the European Commission about the need to ensure that the measurement of land is part of the key indicators for better resource use.

As a result, the European Commission has proposed to use the 'land footprint' measurement method in its 'Resource Efficiency Roadmap' – a set of policies to make sure Europe can cope with a future of more constrained and expensive resources.

Friends of the Earth Europe will host a conference in December on Europe's land footprint, and will publish a report on the issue early in 2013.

Europeans are more dependent on foreign land to provide imported products than any other region in the world. 60% of this comes from outside our boundaries.

Friend of the Earth Europe is campaigning to measure and reduce the amount of land European citizens consume. It is promoting 'land footprint' as the only way to measure the overall amount of land needed for the production of the goods and services consumed at the European level as it accounts for the land used across the supply chain, regardless of where this takes place.