The Coronavirus Pandemic Has Caused Humanity’s Ecological Footprint To Contract. However, True Sustainability That Allows All To Thrive On Earth Can Only Be Achieved By Design, Not Disaster.
What is Earth’s Overshoot Day?
Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity has exhausted nature’s budget for the year. For the rest of the year, we are maintaining our ecological deficit by drawing down local resource stocks and accumulating carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. We are operating in overshoot.
To include the impacts from the coronavirus pandemic this year, Global Footprint Network combined the most reliable data and formed the most reasonable assumptions to assess humanity’s current resource situation.
Changes in carbon emissions, forest harvest, food demand, and other factors that could impact global biocapacity or the Ecological Footprint from January 1 to Earth Overshoot Day were evaluated. The main drivers were the carbon Footprint (reduced 14.5% from 2019) and the forest product Footprint (reduced 8.4% from 2019). Check out the highlights and/or the detailed research report explaining how the date of Earth Overshoot Day was calculated.
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. To determine the date of Earth Overshoot Day, Global Footprint Network calculates the number of days that Earth’s biocapacity can provide for humanity’s Ecological Footprint.
Each city, state or nation’s Ecological Footprint can be compared to its biocapacity. If a population’s demand for ecological assets exceeds the supply, that region runs an ecological deficit. A region in ecological deficit meets demand by importing, liquidating its own ecological assets (such as overfishing), and/or emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
At the global level, ecological deficit and overshoot are the same, since there is no net import of resources to the planet.
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