Why we celebrate Earth Overshoot Day 2022
(Sustainabilityenvironment.com) – We devoured all the new natural resources generated by the planet in just 209 days. One less than 2021. To remember it today is the Earth Overshoot Day 2022, the day symbol of the overexploitation of the Earth. The data is calculated annually by the Global Footprint Network from the official data, provided by the United Nations, on the ecological footprint and biocapacity of the various countries. That is, on the current demands of biologically productive areas – for food, timber, drinking water, energy production, space for infrastructure etc. – and the ability of the same regenerate resources.
Downstream of these calculations the Earth Overshoot Day marks the day when humanity has exhausted what the Earth is able to renew in the current year.
An incurable ecological debt
This is a monitored factor since the 1970s – then it was called Ecological Debt Day – and all this time it has shown an almost constant worsening trend. In 1987 the day fell on 19 December. In 2000 it came to 1 November, last year to 29 July.
Today, Earth Overshoot Day 2022 burns a further day than 2021, bringing it forward to July 28. The effects of this negative spiral are clearly visible. Just look at the huge decline in biodiversity in recent years, the growth of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the increased competition for food and energy. Factors that are becoming increasingly critical with the increase in heat waves, forest fires, drought and floods.
“The Day of Overexploitation of the Earth shows that the current system of production and consumption is not compatible with the intention of continuing to inhabit this planet“, explained the Environment Minister of Ecuador, Gustavo Manrique, on the occasion of the commemorative event. “In order to better protect our natural resources and manage our demand, we need to take concrete joint actions aimed at a new development model based on sustainability and regeneration. From Ecuador we ask the world to commit itself to this cause”.
For Earth Overshoot Day 2022, the total carbon footprint increased by 1.2% over the previous year, while total biocapacity increased by 0.4% over the same period. In other words to regenerate everything that humanity will consume this year it would take the biocapacity of 1.75 planet Earth.