Today marks the day when the planet has used up all its resources such as water, clean air and soils for the whole of 2017.
The Global Footprint Network has calculated that ‘Earth Overshoot Day’ falls on 2nd August this year, claimed to be the earliest date yet.
It suggests the world has used more ecological resources and services than nature can regenerate through overfishing, overharvesting forests and emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
That means every natural resource used from this day onwards is in effect unsustainable in the long term.
French Ecology Minister Nicolas Hulot said: “We are living on credit and inevitably, at some point, we risk going from having rare resources to having resource shortages.
“We must work together for renewable forms of energy because fossil energies pollute and are in limited quantity but the wind and sun will not be gone in a year. I believe from the bottom of my heart in a world with 100% renewable energy and this world is being born before our eyes with the new technological discoveries we see every day, especially regarding electricity storage.”
According to Global Footprint Network, food accounts for 26% of the world’s global footprint and reducing it by half, eating less protein-intensive foods and consuming more fruit and vegetables, it could be reduced to 16%.
It has launched a new Footprint Calculator, which allows users to measure their own demand on nature and assess their personal Earth Overshoot Day.
It also provides information on sustainability and allows users to play with options and learn about solutions.