Richest 10% create bigger ecological footprint

    TORONTO, June 24 /CNW/ - The richest 10 percent of Canadians create a
bigger ecological footprint - a whopping 66 percent higher -- than the average
Canadian household, says a new study by the Canadian Centre for Policy
Alternatives (CCPA).
    The study, Size Matters: Canada's Ecological Footprint, By Income, is the
first Canadian study to link national income and consumption patterns with
global warming.
    "When we look at where the environmental impact of human activity comes
from, we see that size really does matter," says Hugh Mackenzie, CCPA research
associate. "Higher-income Canadians create a much bigger footprint than poorer

    Among the study's findings:

    -  The richest 10% of Canadian households create an ecological footprint
       of 12.4 hectares per capita -- nearly two-and-a-half times that of the
       poorest 10%.
    -  While the size of an individual's ecological footprint increases as
       household income increases, the real jump is at that top 10% level.
       When it comes to environmental impact, it really is a case of the rich
       and the rest of us.
    -  The bottom 60% of Canadian households' ecological footprint is below
       the national average but even the lowest-income Canadians create an
       ecological footprint that is several times the average for those in
       poorer nations.

    "All Canadians share responsibility for global warming," says co-author
Rick Smith, executive director of Environmental Defence. "But wealthier
Canadians are leaving behind a disproportionately larger footprint - and
should be expected to make a disproportionate contribution to its reduction."
    Mackenzie says the study contains lessons for policy makers: "Clearly
ecological impact is strongly related to income. Greenhouse gas emissions
policies should reflect that reality or risk being less effective and unfair
to low- and middle-class Canadians."

For further information:

For further information: Trish Hennessy, (416) 263-9896 or cell (416)

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