Earth Overshoot Day 2019

Humanity will have used nature's resource budget for the entire year

Sustainability
  • News 29.07.2019

The Earth Overshoot Day – also known as Ecological Debt Day – marks the day of a particular year on which the world's population lives ecologically beyond its means in terms of its consumption of nature. On July 29, humanity will have used nature’s resource budget for the entire year, according to the Global Footprint Network, an international sustainability organisation which created the Ecological Footprint. Over the past 20 years, it has moved forward by three months to July 29, the earliest ever. This means that humanity is currently using nature's resources 1.75 times faster than our planet’s ecosystems can regenerate, equivalent to 1.75 earths. Humanity first saw an ecological deficit in the early 1970s. Since 1971, the annual consumption has been exceeding the global resources.

The Ecological Footprint measures the ecological assets that a given population requires to produce the natural resources it consumes (including plant-based food and fiber products, livestock and fish products, timber and other forest products, space for urban infrastructure) and to absorb its waste, especially carbon emissions.. Currently, carbon emissions from burning fossil fuel comprise 60 per cent of humanity's Ecological Footprint.

"In order to preserve the beauty and functional diversity of one earth - such as clean air, clean water, good soils, intact forests and oceans, biodiversity _ a comprehensive change in production and consumption is necessary. For me as a designer, this is a great challenge; I can and must question and redesign everything. To rethink, design, test and implement products and services can make 1.5 degrees Celsius lifestyles with a high quality of life and social balance possible and would finally benefit from our existing knowledge. It's our time to act now," stresses Prof. Dr. Christa Liedtke, Director of the Sustainable Production and Consumption Division at the Wuppertal Institute.

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