May 10, 2019, marks the date by which humanity would have exhausted nature’s annual budget if all people lived like EU residents, according to a new report by WWF and Global Footprint Network.
Human society is supported by what nature provides – food, fiber, timber, carbon absorption, and land for built infrastructure. If all people around the world consumed at the level EU residents do, from January 1 to May 10, humanity would have used as much as the planet’s ecosystems can renew over the entire year. This means that 2.8 Earths would be needed to provide for this level of consumption.
Yet we can make our economies one-planet compatible. In fact, one-planet compatibility is not a noble goal: It is the basic, necessary condition for humanity to thrive going forward provided we get there by design. So let’s get to work to #MoveTheDate!
The report calls for this transformation. It comes just ahead of the EU Leaders Summit on the Future of Europe today in Sibiu, Romania, and two weeks before the EU elections. It recommends urgent changes needed to move the EU’s Overshoot Day later into the year. This includes actions to fully protect and restore nature in Europe by 2030 and make the EU climate neutral by 2040.
Ultimately, resource accounting is essential to avoid ecological bankruptcy. Explore why it’s necessary and how to become one-planet compatible in the upcoming Ecological Footprint book. It is based on the newest data from the 2019 edition of the National Footprint and Biocapacity Accounts, and is packed with accessible analysis.
Also, we’d love to hear from you! Share on social media the solutions you love to #MoveTheDate. If you live in the EU, how will you help shape the public debate so candidates commit to policies that #MoveTheDate?
The Global Footprint Network Team