This year’s Earth Overshoot Day is on 28 July, which means from 1 January until this day, humanity has demanded as much from nature as the planet’s ecosystems can renew in a year. However, the organisers behind the awareness day say circular businesses are reversing overshoot.
Earth Overshoot Day (EOD) organisers say the day is to remind people that the persistence of overshoot has led to a huge decline in biodiversity, excess greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and heightened competition for food and energy. These symptoms are becoming more prominent with unusual heat waves, forest fires, droughts, and floods.
Earth Overshoot Day demonstrates that the current system of production and consumption is not compatible with the intention to continue to inhabit this planet.
GFN says that overshoot is driven by four key factors: how much people consume, how efficiently products are made, how many people there are, and how much nature’s ecosystems can produce.
It continues that technology and more intensive inputs have helped expand biological productivity but that expansion has not come close to keeping pace with the rate at which population and resource demand have expanded.
Climate change and resource constraints mean resource security is turning into an essential parameter of lasting prosperity, EOD says. The organisers continue that there is no advantage in waiting for international agreements and it is in the interest of every city, company, or country to step up and protect its own ability to operate in the future.
EOD says companies who can produce valuable goods and services while also reducing global overshoot are naturally better positioned for the future. The likelihood that such businesses will be needed and remain valuable, is higher than for businesses that ignore those global trends. EOD says that a new generation of circular-economy-focused companies have already recognised that they operate while also reducing overshoot.
Global Footprint Network is to be commended for talking frankly about an issue too many environmental advocates choose to ignore.
Ecuador’s Minister of Environment, Water and Ecological Transition, Gustavo Manrique, is hosting a special event on July 27 to mark Earth Overshoot Day 2022, featuring the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility, authorities from different countries in the region, representatives of non-governmental organisations, businesses, scientists, and academics.
Manrique, said: “Earth Overshoot Day demonstrates that the current system of production and consumption is not compatible with the intention to continue to inhabit this planet.
“To better protect our natural resources and manage our demand for them, it is necessary to take concrete joint actions aimed at a new development model based on sustainability and regeneration. From Ecuador, we call on the world to commit to this cause.”
In 2008, it made history when it became the first country in the world to grant nature legally-enforceable constitutional rights to ”exist, flourish and evolve” through a popular vote. Ecuador ranks as one of the countries whose Overshoot Day arrives the latest in the year (December 6 this year), which means its Ecological Footprint per person is only slightly higher than the worldwide average biocapacity per person, EOD says.
Our experience is that most people intuitively grasp that a key component of Earth Overshoot is population growth.
Campaigning charity Population Matters is calling for greater recognition of the role of human population growth in driving planetary overshoot.
Population Matters Head of Campaigns, Alistair Currie, said: “Our experience is that most people intuitively grasp that a key component of Earth Overshoot is population growth.
“One billion people live in the Least Developed Countries. It’s overdue time to recognise that ensuring they all can achieve a decent quality of life on a healthy planet requires that the richest – us – take less of what the Earth can provide and that a smaller number of people born into poverty both makes it easier for people to escape it and reduces the environmental impact when they do. It’s just not rocket science.
“Global Footprint Network is to be commended for talking frankly about an issue too many environmental advocates choose to ignore. Those who refuse to recognise the facts, or, still worse, vilify those who do, are helping no one.”