Today, Monday 29th of July, marks Earth Overshoot Day (EOD), the date by which humanity has exhausted all the natural resources our planet ecosystems can regenerate within a year.
This means that the global population is in a constant overdraft with nature and uses resources (such as timber, food, water, etc.) at a speed 1.75 times faster than is sustainable. To support our lifestyles, we put a severe strain on nature. The costs of ecological overspending are increasingly evident in the form of deforestation, soil erosion, loss of biodiversity and increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere that cause climate change and extreme weather events.
“We only have one Earth – this is the ultimate defining context for human existence. We can’t use 1.75 without destructive consequences,” said Mathis Wackernagel, a founder of the Global Footprint Network. This international sustainability organisation measures the Ecological Footprint and focuses on introducing measures to reverse the environmental damage and ‘Move the Date’ of the EOD backwards.
This year, Earth Overshoot Day comes earlier than ever. Twenty years ago, in 1999, Earth Overshoot day fell on September 29, while ideally it should be lined up with December 31 or even into the following year. The first Overshoot Day, in 1970, fell on December 29, and it has been moving forward ever since.
To improve the situation and “Move the Date” we need to act on two levels:
- Introduce changes to our individual lifestyles that will make them more sustainable, for example by limiting the number of flights we take each year, reducing red meat consumption, switching to EV or public transport, etc.
- Take advantage of the new technological solutions to transform our businesses and the whole economy towards a Net-Zero emission model
GridBeyond is proud to play a part in ‘Moving the Date’ by helping industrial and commercial businesses to become more sustainable and supporting grid operators in building carbon-free energy networks.
To join the community of date movers and to learn more about new environmental initiatives, visit the #MoveTheDate Solutions website – a new global database of sustainable projects and solutions with a single aim: to push back Earth Overshoot Day.