Driven by high population growth and economic development, many of our ecosystems are approaching critical tipping points of depletion or irreversible change. From about 60 billion tons today, the annual global extraction of resources (minerals, ores, fossil fuels and biomass) could rise to 140 billion tons per year by 2050, assuming consumption stays at current developed country rates.

Under business as usual trends, greenhouse gas emissions will double by 2050, causing a rise of 3°C in global temperatures by the end of the century. Around 60% of all studied ecosystems were damaged or being unsustainably used.

Meantime, another 2 to 3 billion middle class consumers will be added to the global population by 2040, substantially increasing resource demand.

If socio-economic development is not decoupled from the unsustainable depletion of resources and increasing environmental impact, we would soon need the equivalent of 2.5 Earths.

There is a clear and urgent imperative to transform global consumption and production patterns if we are to achieve sustainable development and poverty eradication, while maintaining the health and regenerative capacity of our ecosystem services and natural capital.