This year's "Overshoot Day", when Earth's resources are used up faster than the planet can generate them, landed on July 29.
"If we need reminding that we're in the grip of a climate and ecological emergency, Earth Overshoot Day is it," said Susan Aitken, leader of the Glasgow City Council, urging that the day be "our call to arms."
Last year's improved timeline was August 22 was attributed to coronavirus-triggered shutdowns. If the world's population lived like the U.S. or Canada, the date would have fallen (pdf) on March 14.
The Global Footprint Network, which tracks the metric, along with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) on Thursday also announced the launch of the "100 Days of Possibility" initiative for the lead-up to COP 26, the key United Nations climate summit that begins October 31 in Glasgow. The initiative will highlight solutions for states and communities to take to "reverse overshoot and support biological regeneration," organizers say.
"The pandemic has demonstrated that societies can shift rapidly in the face of disaster," said Global Footprint Network CEO Laurel Hanscom. "But being caught unprepared brought great economic and human cost. When it comes to our predictable future of climate change and resource constraints, individuals, institutions, and governments who prepare themselves will fare better."
We are entering a 'storm' of climate change and resource constraints. The earlier we start preparing ourselves for this predictable future, the better positioned we will be. The need for cities, and countries to prepare themselves for the future becomes even more existential.
Looking ahead to the upcoming climate summit, SEPA CEO Terry A'Hearn said it must be a moment to ensure a climate-friendly, post-Covid recovery.
"In November, as a weary world turns its attention to Scotland and COP 26, together we can choose one-planet prosperity over one-planet misery," he said. "We can and must build from the pandemic—our global ability to plan, to protect and move at pace. In 2021," A'Hearn added, "the Glasgow summit and the future we choose as each community, city, company, or country offers real hope for a new net-zero revolution."
Socialist Courier at the risk of being thought of as cynical, does not hold out much hope nor does it expect COP26 to make substantive differences to the progress of worsening climate change. Only transformative sytemic change is required in the way our society operates.
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