Mounting Debt in a World in Overshoot: An Analysis of the Link between the Mediterranean Region’s Economic and Ecological Crises

Source: mdpi.com

During the period of 1961–2008, demand for renewable resources and ecological services (as measured through the Ecological Footprint methodology) in the Mediterranean region grew by 52% (from 2.06 to 3.12 global hectares per capita), while availability of such resources and services (or biocapacity (BC)) decreased by 16% (from 1.49 to 1.26 global hectares per capita). As all economic activities ultimately depend on ecological assets—such as productive land and marine areas, and the services and resources they produce—this paper presents a reflection on the economic implications of such resource and service overconsumption in the Mediterranean region. Our conclusion is that, in a world characterized by the existence of biophysical limits, risks may exist for Mediterranean economies due to the concurrence of: (1) resource scarcity; (2) increasing resource prices; and (3) challenging national economic situations.

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