Today marks Earth Overshoot Day 2022; the date each year when humanity has used all the biological resources that Earth regenerates during the entire year.
Earth Overshoot Day has been getting progressively earlier year on year since it was first conceived in 1971, although the rate of increase in the use of resources does appear to have slowed in the last decade where it is hovering around late July/early August.
Each country also has their own “overshoot day” calculated. This year the UK comes in 25th “worst” with a date of 19th May. While this makes for uncomfortable reading, it serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of building momentum behind initiatives at all levels, from global efforts to local projects and individual actions.
To focus minds on taking positive actions, the organisation behind Earth Overshoot Day has created a #MovetheDate campaign, with 5 themes that can help to provide solutions and options to move the date later in the year:
- Planet – restoring nature; for example, restoring 350m hectares of forest worldwide would move the date back by 8 days
- Cities – if a third of all car journeys were replaced by public transport and 20% by cycling or walking, the date would move back by 13 days
- Energy – reducing worldwide carbon emissions by 50% would move the date back 93 days. Using existing energy efficiency technologies worldwide would move the date back by 21 days on its own!
- Food – reducing global food waste by 50% would move the date back by 13 days
- Population – controversial, perhaps, but if every other family only had one child, the date would be moved back by 49 days
Whilst climate change often seems like an impossible challenge to tackle, and this kind of activity clearly needs to be done on a global scale, there is power in the simplicity of the solutions put forward, which we as organisations and individuals can help to make a reality.
The nature of Green Action Trust’s work is to support the delivery of a variety of these solutions, albeit on a local scale, through our commitments to Net Zero, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and through our delivery of the Central Scotland Green Network. We therefore fully support the #MoveTheDate campaign and if it inspires you or your organisation to take action on climate, biodiversity or environmental equality, let’s work together to make a real impact.