Schneider Electric, Global Footprint Network join hands to #MoveTheDate of Earth Overshoot Day at least 21 days

Schneider Electric, Global Footprint Network join hands to #MoveTheDate of Earth Overshoot Day at least 21 days
بقلم Marwa Nassar - -

Schneider Electric has joined hands with the Global Footprint Network – an international sustainability organization that has pioneered the Ecological Footprint – to #MoveTheDate of Earth Overshoot Day at least 21 days.

The 2019 Earth Overshoot Day falling on July 29th means that humanity is currently using nature 1.75 times faster than the planet’s ecosystems can regenerate. The world is striving to move the date as much as possible.

Schneider Electric and Global Footprint Network partnered up to assess energy solutions. The two organizations’ joint research team found that readily available technologies from Schneider Electric’s and its partners’ offering can #MoveTheDate of Earth Overshoot Day at least 21 days by reducing global carbon emissions.
The research noted that cutting CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning by 50% would #MoveTheDate by 93 days.
Global Footprint Network and Schneider Electric have invited other businesses from across sectors to assess their strategies against a ‘one-planet compatibility’ framework, and evaluate what impact they make to #MoveTheDate. Moving out of ecological overshoot calls for the kind of creativity, ingenuity, and drive that can only be unleashed through a new type of collaborative conversation between players.

Moving the date of Earth Overshoot Day back five days each year would allow humanity to reach one-planet compatibility before 2050. Solutions that #MoveTheDate are available and financially advantageous. Significant opportunities are to be found in five key areas: cities, energy, food, population, and planet.

The Earth Overshoot Day has moved up two months over the past 20 years to the 29th of July this year, the earliest date ever.

“We have only got one Earth – this is the ultimately defining context for human existence. We can’t use 1.75 without destructive consequences,” said Mathis Wackernagel, co-inventor of Ecological Footprint accounting and founder of Global Footprint Network.

“With Earth Overshoot Day occurring ever earlier in the year, and a big part of it being the growing amounts of CO2 emissions, the importance of decisive action is becoming ever more evident. For this reason, we are working with all parties to find effective approaches,” said María Carolina Schmidt ZaldívarMinister of Environment, Chile, and chair of the Climate COP25 scheduled this December in Santiago de Chile.

Just days ahead of Earth Overshoot Day, Global Footprint Network launched the beta version of the #MoveTheDate Solutions Map where people are invited to champion existing solutions. Users can also connect with each other on the basis of geography and focus of interest, accelerating the implementation of new projects in the real world.

Developed with startup Mapotic, the social platform also features solutions identified by partners, starting with Buckminster Fuller Institute award laureates.

The #MoveTheDate Solutions Map is designed to complement the Footprint Calculator. The latter, which enables people to calculate their own Ecological Footprint and their personal Earth Overshoot Day, draws more than 2.5 million users per year and is now available in eight languages, with Chinese and Portuguese most recently added.

According to the EU Overshoot Day – Living Beyond Nature’s Limits report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Global Footprint Network, the EU’s impact on the planet’s resources is inequitable: the EU uses almost 20% of the Earth’s biocapacity although it comprises only 7% of the world population. In other words, 2.8 planets would be needed if everyone consumed at the rate of the average EU resident. This is well above the world’s average Ecological Footprint of approximately 1.7 planets.

Footprint trends vary enormously from country to country. China, the United States of America, India, Russia, and Brazil run the largest total Footprints in the world, and if the EU were a country, it would rank in 3rd place. Even though China has a total Ecological Footprint that is two times higher than the United States’ and the EU’s, the US and the EU’s Footprint per person is much higher. This is because China has a much larger population than the US and the EU, meaning consumption in the US and the EU per person is much higher. The steep increase in China’s Ecological Footprint is mainly driven by carbon emissions and cropland Footprint.

In 2019, the EU’s Overshoot Day is on 10th May, far earlier than is sustainable. EU consumption is using biocapacity of countries, thereby increasing the EU’s Ecological Footprint and depleting these countries’ natural capital. If we want a sustainable future for people and planet, this trend must be reversed faster.

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