If everybody lived like us, the Dutch, it would take 3.6 Earths. But we are even more resource insecure than that. Because of our dense population, we have few biological resources within our country. Therefore, it would take 7.3 Netherlands to regenerate everything we need from nature. Food consumption in the Netherlands alone requires the capacity of 2.4 Netherlands.
The blindness to our resource security has turned into a massive risk. This has become apparent through Russia’s war on Ukraine. Even on the natural gas front: Groningen will not be able to save our day.
Let’s acknowledge this: we know the big challenges that future will bring quite well. People will all want to eat, have shelter, be safe. Also, they will live in a world with a wilder climate, fewer natural resources, and no fossil fuel – in any imaginable scenario. The resource-constrained future is arriving faster than cities, companies or countries are adapting. Acting swiftly is becoming essential because retrofitting physical infrastructure requires time. Those who hesitate with their transition are exposed to far larger risks.
Given the Netherlands (and the EU) vast resource insecurity, what are our options? How does economic policy have to shift to secure the Netherlands’ viability? What are the opportunities to seize? What do we need to do differently?
And food security is at stake too. 33% of the Netherlands’ overall consumption footprint is associated with food, and only 22% its food consumption footprint is the result of domestic production, while 78% is met through imports. The scenario might be changing in the current geopolitical context, given that Russia and Ukraine, considered as “the breadbasket of Europe”, account for a whopping portion of the world’s agricultural supplies as they exported about a quarter of the world’s wheat and half of its sunflower products. But the war extends well beyond just the impact of grain exports, as Russia is a key supplier for fertilizers so virtually every major crop in the world would be affected.
To mark the Dutch Overshoot Day on April 12, Global Footprint Network, in the framework of the Food4Future project, is hosting the webinar “Facing the Dutch Overshoot Day unprepared: understanding resource security in the context of the Ukraine war” to explore: To what extent is the Netherlands truly committed to its own success? If so, what does it take? How will we get there, given our massive resource deficit and past blind spots?
The event will be moderated by Maria Van Der Heijden, Director, MVO The Netherlands, and will feature a panel discussion with distinguished speakers, including:
- Raoul Boucke, Member of Parliament, Netherlands
- Werner Schouten, Presentor, Constructive Rebel and changemaker
- Ben Valk, Global Head Food and Agri Partnerships, Rabobank
- Nicole van Gemert, Director, Foodwatch Netherlands
- Mathis Wackernagel, Founder, Global Footprint Network
This event will take place in English.