Earth Overshoot Day observed across the world on Monday sounded the alarm bells for humanity by revealing that humanity has already exhausted nature’s resource budget for the year with its excessive ecological spending.
From that day until the rest of the year, the world will use more resources than the planet can renew in a year. According to the Global Footprint Network, an international research organization, this means the world will now be operating in overshoot for the year – putting undue pressure on the planet for any resources taken.
Climate change experts have explained that the reason the earth is already depleted and so early in the year is that it is now emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than oceans and forests can absorb.
Fisheries and logged forests are therefore being depleted much faster than they can reproduce and recover.
According to research from the Global Footprint Network, as economies, populations and demands for resources increase, the size of the Earth and its natural resource base remain the same. If such business approaches and consumption patterns continue through 2030, the world will need the equivalent of two Earths to meet these demands.
Currently, the world consumes as much as 1.6 Earths can supply. The impacts of excessive ecological spending are manifested in soil erosion, desertification, reduced productivity of cultivated land, overgrazing, deforestation, rapid extinction of species, collapse of fisheries and increased of the carbon concentration in the atmosphere.
âCarbon emissions are the fastest growing contributor to ecological overshoot, with the carbon footprint now accounting for 60% of humanity’s demand on nature, which we call its ecological footprint. If we adhere to the objectives set by the Paris climate agreement adopted by nearly 200 countries in December 2015, the carbon footprint will have to gradually drop to zero by 2050. This calls for a new way of living on our own. planet â, is the message of Mathis Wackernagel, co-founder and CEO of Global Footprint Network.
According to Ravi Singh, Secretary General and CEO of WWF-India, the country is the third largest contributor to the global ecological footprint. âWe need to make behavior and policy changes that encourage sustainable practices and promote environmentally responsible lifestyles. By being aware of our new consumption patterns and the pressure we are exerting on the planet, we can work to reduce the global ecological debt.
With this in mind, Global Footprint Network and its 25 Earth Passage Day partners have launched a public engagement campaign to highlight the importance of resource security for the sustainable livelihoods of the planet and humanity. Such efforts can be made possible by current technology and emerging sectors such as renewable energy, smart city planning, among others.