Earth Overshoot Day: Planet's 2019 resources 'budget' already spent
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Mankind will have used up its allowance of natural resources such as water, soil and clean air for all of 2019 by Monday, a report said.
The so-called Earth Overshoot Day has moved up by two months over the past 20 years and this year’s date is the earliest ever, the study by the Global Footprint Network said.
The equivalent of 1.75 planets would be required to produce enough to meet humanity’s needs at current consumption rates.
“Earth Overshoot Day falling on July 29 means that humanity is currently using nature 1.75 times faster than our planet’s ecosystems can regenerate. This is akin to using 1.75 Earths,” the environmental group, which is headquartered in Oakland, California, said in a statement.
“The costs of this global ecological overspending are becoming increasingly evident in the form of deforestation, soil erosion, biodiversity loss, or the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The latter leads to climate change and more frequent extreme weather events,” it added.
Earth Overshoot Day 2019 is approaching on July 29th, the earliest ever. Join the community of Date Movers on our new crowd-sourced solutions platform. We’d love to learn about your favorite solutions that help to push back Overshoot Day later in the year. https://t.co/qqgJeOcJdX pic.twitter.com/mnV3gnGVd4Footprint Network (@EndOvershoot) July 28, 2019
Calculated since 1986, the grim milestone has arrived earlier each year.
In 1993, it fell on October 21, in 2003 on September 22, and in 2017 on August 2.
“We have only got one Earth this is the ultimately defining context for human existence. We can’t use 1.75 (earths) without destructive consequences,” said Mathis Wackernagel, founder of Global Footprint Network.
The precise Earth Overshoot Day date for each year is less significant than the sheer magnitude of ecological overshoot. Over the last decades, the date has been creeping up the calendar, although at a slowing rate. https://t.co/ZwrDagJt5K #MoveTheDate pic.twitter.com/i4gM0pk5MkFootprint Network (@EndOvershoot) July 28, 2019
Maria Carolina Schmidt Zaldivar, Chile’s environment minister and chair of the Climate COP25 scheduled this December in Santiago, said a major cause of the date falling earlier and earlier was growing amounts of CO2 emissions.
“The importance of decisive action is becoming ever more evident,” she said.
Individuals can get involved by calculating their own ecological footprint at http://www.footprintcalculator.org.