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Earth Overshoot Day lands on July 28

  • According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), humanity has again used up all biological resources that our planet regenerates during the entire year by 28th July, 2022.
  • From Earth Overshoot Day until the end of the year, humanity operates on ecological deficit spending.

The concept of earth overshoot day

  • The day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources (fish and forests, for instance) and services in a given year exceeds what the Earth can regenerate in that year.
  • The concept of Earth Overshoot Day was first conceived by Andrew Simms of the UK think tank New Economics Foundation, which partnered with Global Footprint Network in 2006 to launch the first global Earth Overshoot Day campaign.
  • Earth Overshoot Day is computed by dividing the planet’s biocapacity (the amount of ecological resources Earth is able to generate that year), by humanity’s Ecological Footprint (humanity’s demand for that year), and multiplying by 365, the number of days in a year:
  • (Earth’s Biocapacity / Humanity’s Ecological Footprint) x 365 = Earth Overshoot Day

Significance of Earth Overshoot Day

  • It is necessary to recognise the concept of Earth Overshoot Day as it indicates how rapidly we are consuming the natural resources available at our disposal.
  • Recognising the imminent need to cut down on the frequent consumption of these resources will help us cut down on wastage of food, transportation and adoption of commercial technologies for various industrial processes, production of electricity and construction of buildings.

How is the day marked around the world?

  • In addition to the overarching Earth Overshoot Day, there is also a focus on individual countries as they reach their Country Overshoot Days.
  • Qatar’s Overshoot Day is as early as 10 February, while Jamaica makes Earth’s resources last until just before Christmas.
  • In the UK, it fell onto 19 May 2022 this year. This means that humanity would need more than two and a half Earths to meet global needs if everyone lived like the UK population.
  • In the USA and Canada, Earth Overshoot Day was even earlier, on 13 March.

#MoveTheDate

  • The #MoveTheDate campaign is focused on five areas of change:
    1. planet,
    2. cities,
    3. population,
    4. energy and
  • Initiatives range from rural solar power projects and low-impact beef production to circular fashion and women’s health.

  • A 2019 analysis by Global Footprint Network and Schneider Electric showed that making existing buildings more energy efficient and decarbonizing power could help push Earth Overshoot Day back by 21 days.
  • If we could cut food waste by half, the date could be moved by 10 days. By halving global CO2, a whole 93 days could be saved.
  • Decreasing humanity’s consumption of meat would allow the date to be moved back 17 days.

3 signs of hope for our future

  1. Some countries are leaning on nature to Build Back Better
  2. Nature is climbing up the business agenda
  3. Businesses are calling for collective action and on governments to raise the ambition level for nature and climate

  • Objective: to draw attention to flora and fauna that are threatened with extinction. This special day emphasises preserving several components of nature which include energy resources, soil, water and air.
  • Theme: ‘Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet’.

Question: Which of the following factors are responsible for increasing water demand?

  1. Expansion of irrigation
  2. Increasing demand by industry
  3. Rising demand due to growing population
  4. All of the above

 

 

 

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