Global Earth Overshoot Day takes place one day later than in 2022

In the last five years, the trend is towards stagnation, but the trend is insufficient

This year, the use of the environmental credit card started one day later than in 2022, that is, on the 2nd of August.

Planet Overload DayOvershoot Day) marks the day when Humanity's need for resources and environmental services exceeds Planet Earth's capacity to regenerate these same resources. From then on, it becomes necessary to use natural resources that should only be used from January 1st of the following year, in this case, 2024.

In the last five years, the trend has been towards stagnation. For the environmentalist association ZERO, «it is possible that this trend is due to decarbonization efforts and a set of policies that aim to promote respect for the limits of the planet, although it may also be influenced by some economic slowdown in recent years» .

In any case, stresses ZERO, "this trend is insufficient to achieve the objectives of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) of reducing carbon emissions worldwide by 43% by 2030 (based on 2010)". For this to be possible, "we will have to withdraw 19 days in each of the next seven years".

ZERO explains that «what the data tells us is that Humanity has to accelerate its pace and promote the necessary changes in order to reduce the impact that its activities and needs have on the carrying capacity of the planet».

According to Earth Overshoot Day's #MoveTheDate initiative, changes such as having renewable sources power 75% of the world's electricity needs can reduce our use of the environmental card by 26 days and halving food waste can contribute to a reduction of another 13 days.

But there is more, namely the reduction of the carbon footprint by 50%, which will allow «to activate the environmental credit card 93 days later (early November)».

Or «if we reduce our mobility footprint by 50% and if we assume that a third of the kilometers are replaced by public transport and the rest by cycling and walking, we will activate the environmental credit card 13 days later (for the second week of August)".

ZERO also explains that, «if we reduce meat consumption by 50% and replace those calories with a vegetarian diet, the credit card would be activated 17 days later (mid-August), with 10 of those days resulting from methane emissions avoided”.

«It is urgent to raise awareness of the need to change the development paradigm in order to promote an economy of Well-Being, which guarantees quality of life for everyone while respecting the limits of the planet», adds the environmentalist association.


The trend of the last decades

Although the trend since the 70s has continued towards anticipating the use of the environmental credit card, the fact is that the last decade reflects a slowdown:


How is it calculated?

The planet's overload day is calculated by dividing the planet's biocapacity (the amount of natural resources that Planet Earth can generate/provide in a year) by Humanity's ecological footprint (the demand for resources during a year), taking into account the 365 days of each year.

Just as a bank statement gives an indication of expenses and income, the Ecological Footprint assesses human needs for renewable resources and essential services and compares them with the Earth's ability to provide such resources and services (biocapacity).

The Ecological Footprint measures the use of cultivated land, forests, pastures and fisheries for supplying resources and absorbing waste (carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels). Biocapacity measures the amount of biologically productive land available to regenerate these resources and services.

This year, the date was delayed five days compared to 2022, since four days were the result of new calculation methods (every year all footprints are recalculated since there is a record so that they can be directly compared), so only one of the days actually refers to the footprint (last year's overload is now calculated for the 1st of August and not in July as was mentioned last year).