By today, humankind will have used up its allowance of natural resources such as water, soil and clean air for the whole of 2019, according to the international research organization Global Footprint Network.
Known as Earth Overshoot Day, this marks the date when humanity’s annual demand on nature exceeds what Earth’s ecosystems can regenerate in that year.
The carbon footprint from burning fossil fuel is the fastest growing part of humanity’s global ecological footprint – accounting for 60% of the total.
This points to the urgent need for ambitious climate action to slash carbon emissions and to keep the average global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, in line with the goal of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
In recent months, the impacts of climate change, including more intense floods, droughts, storms and heatwaves have been felt around the world, with Europe having just experienced some of the hottest temperatures on record.
Commenting on today’s milestone, Carolina Schmidt Chile’s Environment Minister and incoming President of the UN Climate Change Conference COP25 taking place in Chile in December, said:
”With Earth Overshoot Day occurring ever earlier in the year, and a big part of it being due to the growing amounts of CO2 emissions, the importance of decisive action is becoming ever more evident.”