On August 22, we busted the Earth’s budget for 2020. We are now operating in overshoot—in ecological deficit. “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.” —Earth Overshoot Day website.
Earth Overshoot Day and COVID-19
Overshoot day this year has come later than it has in the last 15 years. The COVID-19 pandemic has contracted humanity’s ecological footprint back to 2005 levels. At a time when our ecological footprint is 57% carbon, our carbon footprint has gone down by 14.5% since January 1.
This year Earth Overshoot Day has receded by over three weeks—from the 29th of July in 2019 to August 22 this year. “Reduced human activity due to the Covid-19 pandemic has taken consumption of natural resources back to pre-2006 levels,” reports The Guardian.
The forced slowdowns and lockdowns brought on by the global spread of COVID-19 has resulted in a 9.3% reduction in our ecological footprint compared to August of 2019.
But even with this notable pause in consumption, the world still needs the equivalent of 1.6 Earths in order to keep consuming ecological resources at our current rate.
The following video highlights the 2020 Earth Overshoot Day global launch.
Earth Overshoot Day 2020 global launch event intro
Global Footprint Network
August 21, 2020
Standard YouTube licence
Solutions to #MoveTheDate
The coronavirus has succeeded in stopping the earth overshoot day trend in its tracks when efforts to do so by ecologists, scientists, researchers, NGOs and governments have failed to do so.
The Earth Overshoot Day website points out that there are”plenty of solutions..in five major areas for improving sustainability: planet, cities, energy, food, and population,” to move the overshoot back rather than letting it slide earlier each year as the trend line of the last decades shows. In 1970, Overshoot Day was December 29. In 2000, it was September 23. It’s been sitting in the month of August during the 2010s.
You can join the #MoveTheDate movement here. Catch up on the Steps to #MoveTheDate and the #MoveTheDate Solutions Map.
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