The Earth Overshoot Day marks the date on which humanity’s resource consumption for the year exceeds earth’s capacity to regenerate those resources that year. This year it was the 22. August 2020 for our whole world. We currently use 60% more resources from our planet than what can be renewed – or as much as if we would live on 1.6 planets. From Earth Overshoot Day until the end of the year, humanity grows the ecological deficit which has been increasing steadily since the world fell in ecological overshoot in the early 1970s. The data is presented by the National Footprint & Biocapacity Accounts (NFA) based on UN datasets.
From an ecological point of view, we live from 22. August above our means. Would the whole world live as we do in Sweden, the earth overshoot day already had been on 02.April 2020!
In 2019 the Earth Overshoot day was already on 29. July (in EU already on 10. May. 2019) – it was never so early – a negative record. The overshoot has increased year by year. After seven months we had already taken more wood, plants, animal feed, fish and food from our ecosystems than what can be generated annually in our fishing grounds, forest, pasture and arable land. Added to this are the greenhouse gases, of which humans had already released more into the atmosphere than can be absorbed by the natural cycles. The consequences of this are clearly noticeable: climate change, extinction of animals, leak of fresh water, deforestation, increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, overfishing, environmental pollution, etc.
This is all highly dramatic for our environment and the whole ecologic system. We can´t continue on as we have done before. If this development remains unchanged, resources from two planets would be used annually in 2050. The time is now to change the situation. The ecological collapse is in front of us if we change nothing.
Swestep advocates an ethical environmental dialogue. We cannot waste any more time and must begin to act consistently and end the systematic destruction of our planet. Otherwise, in 2050 we will live on a broken earth full of social conflicts, with no future prospects for future generations.
Due to worldwide “lockdowns” to contain the COVID-19 pandemic combined with the lockdown of the economy, air traffic, tourism, etc., the World Overshoot Day 2020 shifted from 29 July the year before to 22 August. COVID-19 provides an unprecedented opportunity to reflect on the future we want. Efforts to respond to COVID-19 have demonstrated that shifting ecological resource consumption trends in a short timeframe is possible. By now, we all know what we are capable of when communities and governments come together to pursue a shared outcome.
We have it in our hands – we just have to change our behaviour and do something. We have the possibility of creating a sustainable world, a world in which a dignified life can be made possible within the natural capacity of our earth. Beside the comprehension and protection of our ecological system, technology will be a key element. Swestep will be one of the game changers which enables through the provided Technology solutions the essential sustainable contribution to an environmentally friendly, sustainable, fair, clean and future-oriented energy policy.
SOURCE: Earth Overshoot Day, Germanwatch, Footprintnetwork, Wikipedia