26 August, Brussels – The Global Footprint Network has calculated that in only eight months, humanity has used up the Earth’s annual ‘budget’ of resources for the year 2014. The Network named Earth Overshoot Day – the date on which humanity starts to live beyond its means in a given year – as August 19, for 2014. Since the year 2000, the date has moved up the calendar from early October.
Global Footprint Network tracks humanity’s demand on the planet (Ecological Footprint) against nature’s bio-capacity (its ability to replenish the planet’s resources and absorb waste, including CO2). Human consumption now far exceeds what the planet is capable of producing, and it has been calculated that in order to maintain our current levels of consumption, we would need 1.5 planets to sustain us.
The resulting exhaustion of biological resources results in climate change, shrinking forests, species loss, fisheries collapse, higher commodity prices and even civil unrest. Low income countries are most at risk of the adverse effects of ecological exhaustion, whilst industrialised countries are generally living beyond their means.
For more information, visit the Global Footprint Network website.