The One-Planet Alliance

The One-Planet Alliance

The One-Planet Alliance starts from the recognition that One Planet is not a metaphor. Rather, it is the description of the context within which humanity operates. Ultimately humanity needs to live within the one-planet budget, rather than operating as if we had 1.75 Earths.

This context needs a robust metric. Providing such a metric is precisely the goal of this Alliance. The Alliance will support and advance resource accounting that tracks for all countries how much planet countries use, and how much biological capacity countries have. In other words, it will enable the production of Ecological Footprint and biocapacity results for all countries. Offering such accounts should be a public service so anybody can compare human demand to what ecosystems can renew at the country and planetary level.

To achieve this, the One-Planet Alliance stands behind the robust, independent, and ever improving production of the National Footprint and Biocapacity Accounts. Those Accounts are owned and governed by Footprint Data Foundation (FoDaFo), a neutral, international, not-for-profit organization. It will have succeeded if it can consistently provide unbiased, robust, and ever more accurate Ecological Footprint and biocapacity assessments for all countries, based on generally accepted UN statistics.

Country Members of the One-Planet Alliance

Data and tools are needed to support public and private decision-making in order to navigate our economies towards successful outcomes. Given the context of persistent overshoot, these tools need to be informed by this context. The One-Planet Alliance aims at bringing together the nations that share the recognition of this context.

Country-members of the One-Planet Alliance make a three-year commitment. They contribute an annual fee that is commensurate with their population size and economic potential. They make up the stakeholders’ council of the Footprint Data Foundation, the legal entity that owns the Accounts.

National Footprint and Biocapacity Accounts

Initially established by Global Footprint Network, the National Footprint and Biocapacity Accounts contain the data produced annually for more than 200 countries and regions around the world through the Ecological Footprint accounting methodology. This methodology uses some 15,000 data points per country from UN agencies and other international bodies. Currently, these accounts are maintained by York University for Footprint Data Foundation (FoDaFo). Prior, they had been developed for two decades by Global Footprint Network.

The Accounts are the world’s only comprehensive metric to compare human demand on nature to what the planet can renew. They reveal countries’ exposure to core sustainability challenges, including climate change and resource constraints. They help decision-makers identify pressure points, potential conflicts, economic challenges, and risky trends. They are necessary to develop informed analysis of the implications for resource security in each country and the world.

Last but not least, the assessment they provide is fundamental to designing our pathways to the future regenerative economy that IPCC Reports have urgently called for.

Use and Benefits of Ecological Footprint Accounts

One-Planet Alliance strives to ensure ever more transparent and robust National Footprint and Biocapacity Accounts. This is achieved by boosting the underlying reach, strengthening their accuracy, and expanding their utility. They also need to be accessible as a public service. This will support their adoption as a central decision-making tool in countries around the world.

These accounts also gain from being well governed. This enables researchers to participate in their improvements and apply their innovation, while maintaining stability and consistency of the Accounts through careful governance and scientific review.

The Initiative includes a global academic network and a science advisory committee that continuously improve and enhance the Accounts. The academic network researches and develops potential improvements to the Accounts. The science advisory committee reviews, selects and recommends improvements for implementation. It may request input from One-Planet Alliance member-countries as needed.

The Initiative is led by the stakeholders’ council of the Footprint Data Foundation, which One-Planet Alliance members automatically sit on. The annual budget for the Ecological Footprint Initiative supports the Accounts maintenance, annual updates, and upgrades. It also provides resources for scientific advisory committee and necessary research to improve the Accounts. Finally, the budget covers the basic coordination efforts of the One-Planet Alliance.

Given that we live on this one finite planet, these accounts are needed to help explore how each country can best operate and prosper now and in the future, considering humanity is already demanding more than Earth’s ecosystems can renew. Each country will have to navigate how to:

  • allow its potentially expanding population to thrive, with many people harbouring legitimate material aspirations (SDGs), while
  • phasing out fossil fuels within decades, in accordance with the Paris Climate Agreement,
  • and protecting the integrity of the planet’s ecosystems, per Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

For more information, read the brochure.