The earliest Earth Overshoot Day Ever ! It’s Time To #MoveTheDate

The earliest Earth Overshoot Day Ever ! It's Time To #MoveTheDate

Monday, 29 July 2019 marks Earth Overshoot Day 2019. This means humans have used up more natural resources than the planet can renew in the entire year.

What is Earth Overshoot Day ? 

Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year (source : overshootday.org)

As of 29th July, humanity (all of us) uses up its allowance of natural resources (water, soil and clean air) for the entire 2019. This year’s date reaches earliest date ever !

What does it means ? 

This means that we are now living on credit until the end of the year, spending natural resources much faster than the earth can produce them.

How does it works ? 

Earth Overshoot Day is hosted and calculated by Global Footprint Network, an international research organization that provides decision-makers with a menu of tools to help the human economy operate within Earth’s ecological limits.

To determine the date of Earth Overshoot Day for each year, Global Footprint Network calculates the number of days of that year that Earth’s biocapacity suffices to provide for humanity’s Ecological Footprint. The remainder of the year corresponds to global overshoot.

Earth Overshoot Day is computed by dividing the planet’s biocapacity (the amount of ecological resources Earth is able to generate that year), by humanity’s Ecological Footprint (humanity’s demand for that year), and multiplying by 365, the number of days in a year:

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Earth Overshoot Day = (Planet’s Biocapacity / Humanity’s Ecological Footprint) x 365 

Global Footprint Network measures a population’s demand for and ecosystems’ supply of resources and services. These calculations then serve as the foundation for calculating Earth Overshoot Day.

On the supply side, a city, state, or nation’s bio-capacity represents its biologically productive land and sea area, including forest lands, grazing lands, cropland, fishing grounds, and built-up land.

On the demand side, the Ecological Footprint measures a population’s demand for plant-based food and fiber products, livestock and fish products, timber and other forest products, space for urban infrastructure, and forest to absorb its carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels.

Both measures are expressed in global hectares—globally comparable, standardised hectares with world average productivity. A hectare is equivalent to 10,000 square meters or 2.47 acres

Each city, state or nation’s Ecological Footprint can be compared to its bio-capacity. If a population’s demand for ecological assets exceeds the supply, that region runs an ecological deficit. A region in ecological deficit meets demand by importing, liquidating its own ecological assets (such as overfishing), and/or emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

At the global level, ecological deficit and overshoot are the same, since there is no net import of resources to the planet.

History of Earth Overshoot Day : 

The concept of Earth Overshoot Day was first conceived by Andrew Simms of the UK think tank New Economics Foundation, which partnered with Global Footprint Network in 2006 to launch the first global Earth Overshoot Day campaign. At that time, Earth Overshoot Day fell in October. Over the last decades, the dates have been creeping up the calendar every year, although at a slowing rate. 

Earth Overshoot Day 2019 - optimized
The date has been moving forward each year. (image credit : Statista)

Let’s pledge to#movethedate back by making the right consumption choices for the planet !

Find out your Country’s Overshoot Day here 

Learn how you can make better consumption choices to overcome and push Earth Overshoot Day toward one-planet living ? 

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