Reducing Europe’s land dependency and its impacts

3 December 2012

Europe’s land footprint is 640 million hectares a year – an area equivalent to 1.5 times the size of Europe itself. This is the land required to make everything that we consume, from food to material products to fuel.

Friends of the Earth Europe’s conference addressed Europe’s land footprint, its causes, and solutions to the continent’s growing land dependency. The half-day conference, ‘Resource Efficiency in Europe: reducing Europe’s land dependency and its impacts’, discussed the latest policy developments and how reducing Europe’s excessive land footprint can bring environmental, social and economic benefits.

Supported by Judith Merkies MEP, the conference explored the causes of Europe’s land footprint, and how imported goods such as meat, dairy, biofuels and forestry products that require large amounts of land drive land-grabs, push up food prices and exacerbate social inequalities, with devastating social and environmental impacts.

As the EU recognises the urgent need to change the way we use resources, we aimed to provide policy recommendations to move towards a land-use reduction target by 2013.

The presentations from the conference are available on the right-hand side of this page.

Conference overview:

  • Presentations on the environmental, economic and social impacts of measuring and reducing Europe’s land footprint;
  • Discussions on policy recommendations to measure Europe's use of land, reduce Europe's dependency on land from overseas and reduce the environmental, economic and social impact of Europe's resource use;
  • Assessment of the opportunities and benefits for Europe from improving resource efficiency;
  • Case studies including diets, biofuels and company reporting.

If you have any further questions please email becky.slater[at]