Quantifying the land footprint of Germany and the EU using a hybrid accounting model

Fischer, Günther and Tramberend, Sylvia and Bruckner, Martin ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1405-7951 and Lieber, Mirko (2017) Quantifying the land footprint of Germany and the EU using a hybrid accounting model. Umweltbundesamt, Dessau-Roßlau.


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Footprint analysis reveals the appropriation of land resources from a consumer's perspective. We here present a novel hybrid land-flow accounting method for the calculation of land footprints, employing a globally consistent top-down approach and combining physical with environmental economic accounting. Physical accounting tracks food products from "field to plate" and non-food from "field to industrial use" using the large harmonized FAO data to track biomass flows and related land use in physical volumes (tons of biomass). Environmental-economic accounting is used to further track non-food commodities in monetary values to final consumption. The hybrid methodology has been applied annually between 1995 and 2010 for 21 regional markets globally and including major economies separately (e.g. USA, China, India). Per capita extents and composition of cropland footprints vary widely across the world. Detailed results for Germany and the EU28 highlight the higher land demand of livestock-based diets compared to crop-based diets, the growing integration in international markets, and the growing importance of the non-food sector since 2000. Today the land footprint of each Germany citizen appropriates on average 2693 m2 cropland (about one half for livestock-based diets, one quarter for crop-based diets and one quarter for non-food products). Additional 1655 m2 of grassland per capita are used for the consumption of ruminant livestock products. Germany is a major and increasing trading partner with current net "cropland Imports" of 10.6 Mha. Overall, half of Germany's 22 Mha cropland footprint relies on domestic cultivation and half on land resources abroad. Albeit large uncertainties in the calculation of grassland footprints, results point towards Germany being a significant net importer of grassland embedded in ruminant livestock products.

Item Type: Other
Additional Information: Study on behalf of the German Environment Agency and performed by: Institute for Ecological Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business. The project underlying this report was financed by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear safety under project number FKZ 3711 12 102 2.
Version of the Document: Published
Depositing User: Gertraud Novotny
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2018 15:05
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2020 14:44
Related URLs:
FIDES Link: https://bach.wu.ac.at/d/research/results/88098/
URI: https://epub.wu.ac.at/id/eprint/6682


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