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WorldWatch Releases 2006 State of the Environment Report
The dramatic rise of China and India presents one of the gravest threats - and greatest opportunities - facing the world today, says the WorldWatch Institute in its State of the World 2006 report. The choices these countries make in the next few years will lead the world either towards a future of growing ecological and political instability - or down a development path based on efficient technologies and better stewardship of resources.

"Rising demand for energy, food, and raw materials by 2.5 billion Chinese and Indians is already having ripple effects worldwide," says Worldwatch President Christopher Flavin.


"Meanwhile," says Flavin, "record-shattering consumption levels in the U.S. and Europe leave little room for this projected Asian growth." The resulting global resource squeeze is already evident in riots over rising oil prices in Indonesia, growing pressure on Brazil's forests and fisheries, and the loss of manufacturing jobs in Central America. The United States still consumes three times as much grain per person as China and five times as much as India, notes the report. U.S. per-capita carbon dioxide emissions are six times the Chinese level and 20 times the Indian level. If China and India were to consume resources and produce waste at the current U.S. per-capita level, two planet Earths would be needed to sustain their two economies alone.

"We were encouraged to find that a growing number of opinion leaders in China and India now recognize that the resource-intensive model for economic growth can't work in the 21st century," Flavin said. "Already, China's world-leading solar industry provides water heating for 35 million buildings, and India's pioneering use of rainwater harvesting brings clean water to tens of thousands of homes. China and India are positioned to leapfrog today's industrial powers and become world leaders in sustainable energy and agriculture within a decade."

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Hear Christopher Flavin Speak In Brussels
Read the report

Read other articles about the report:
http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn8570 http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0113-06.htm

Read our Report: Asia-Pacific 2005: The Ecological Footprint and Natural Wealth