Humanity will have consumed on August 1st the set of resources that nature can renew in a year and will live “in debt” for 5 months, according to the Global Footprint Network.
August 1st is the “date on which we will have used all trees, water, fertile soil, and fish that the Earth can provide us in a year”, said Valérie Gramond of WWF, linked to the Global Footprint Network, who reminded that this date arrives sooner each year.
“We will also have emitted more carbon dioxide (CO2) than forests can absorb”, Gramond added. “We would currently need the equivalent of 1.7 Earth planets to meet our needs”, the WWF said in a statement.
August 1st is the earliest date recorded since the “Earth Overshoot Day” began in the early 70s. Then, the resources were exhausted on December 29th, while last year this date had already been advanced until August 3rd.
Since then, “the exhaustion of resources has accelerated due to excessive consumption and the waste of food,” explains Gramond, who recalls that in the world 1/3 of the food ends up in the garbage.
This waste of natural resources varies by country. “We have different responsibilities, as small, sparsely populated countries such as Qatar or Luxembourg have a very important ecological footprint,” criticized Pierre Cannet of the WWF.
If the whole of humanity lived like the Qataris or the Luxembourgers, the “Earth Overshoot Day” would be on February 9th and 19th, respectively. In contrast, in a country like Vietnam, this date would not occur until December 21st.
“We have to go from a cry of alarm to a call to action”, defended Cannet, who is concerned about the increase last year of CO2 emissions, after 3 years in which they remained stable.
On the website of the “Earth Overshoot Day “, several solutions are proposed to reverse the current trend; that is to say, to rethink the model of the cities, to promote the renewable energies, to reduce the waste of food, the excessive consumption of meat, and to limit the demographic growth.