OAKLAND, Calif., July 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- On July 29, Earth Overshoot Day (EOD), humanity will have used nature's resource budget for the entire year, according to Global Footprint Network, an international sustainability organization that has pioneered the Ecological Footprint. EOD has moved up two months over the past 20 years to the 29th of July this year, the earliest date ever.
EOD on July 29th means that humanity is currently using nature 1.75 times faster than our planet's ecosystems can regenerate. This is akin to using 1.75 Earths. Overshoot is possible because we are depleting our natural capital – which compromises humanity's future resource security. The costs of global ecological overspending are increasingly evident in the form of deforestation, soil erosion, biodiversity loss, and the buildup of CO2 in the atmosphere. The latter leads to climate change and increased 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, co-inventor of Ecological Footprint accounting and founder of Global Footprint Network.
His upcoming book, Ecological Footprint: Managing Our Biocapacity Budget, demonstrates that overshoot can only be temporary. Humanity will eventually have to operate within the means of Earth's ecological resources, whether by disaster or by design.
Accelerate solutions to #MoveTheDate
If we #MoveTheDate back 5 days each year, humanity would reach one-planet compatibility before 2050. Solutions that #MoveTheDate are already available. Significant opportunities can be found in five key areas: cities, energy, food, population, and planet. For instance, cutting CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning by 50% would #MoveTheDate by 93 days.
Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Bertrand Piccard, founder of the Solar Impulse Foundation, and Sandrine Dixson-Declѐve, co-president of the Club of Rome, are among those who took to Twitter in recent weeks, calling to #MoveTheDate in video statements.
Just days ahead of EOD, Global Footprint Network launched the beta version of the #MoveTheDate Solutions Map where people are invited to champion existing solutions. Users can connect with each other geographically and by focus area, accelerating the implementation of new projects in the real world. Developed with startup Mapotic, the social platform also features solutions identified by partners, starting with Buckminster Fuller Challenge award laureates.
The #MoveTheDate Solutions Map is designed to complement the Footprint Calculator, which enables people to calculate their own Ecological Footprint and personal EOD, draws more than 2.5 million users per year and is now available in eight languages.
The relevance of one-planet compatibility for successful business strategies is explored in a whitepaper by Schneider Electric and Global Footprint Network published yesterday. Follow its inaugural TweetChat at #SEMoveTheDate. Research by both organizations shows that if 100% of the existing building and industry infrastructure were equipped with available efficiency and renewable energy technologies from Schneider Electric and partners, we would #MoveTheDate by 21+ days.
#MoveTheDate Solutions Map movethedate.overshootday.org
Earth Overshoot Day www.overshootday.org
Ecological Footprint (book) https://www.footprintnetwork.org/2019/07/22/ecological-footprint-book/
About Global Footprint Network
Global Footprint Network is an international sustainability organization that is helping the world live within the Earth's means and respond to climate change. Since 2003 we've engaged with more than 50 countries, 30 cities, and 70 global partners to deliver scientific insights that have driven high-impact policy and investment decisions.
Laetitia Mailhes (English & French)
Media & Outreach
Global Footprint Network
+1 (510) 839-8879 ext. 308
SOURCE Global Footprint Network