Earth Overshoot Day: sustainability and inter-generational equity indicator
Mother Earth22 August 2020
August 22 is the date that has been calculated to correspond to Earth Overshoot Day, an indicator linked to the Ecological Footprint, which reports which day of the year the resources that the Earth offers us have been exhausted and from from what date, then, does the ensuing consumption cause annihilation of biodiversity, irreversible destruction of soils, depletion of resources, degradation, and so on. The good news this year is that, due to the confinement that has affected many of the world’s most consuming countries, the date has been delayed 3 weeks from 2019, when it was August 1st.
However, the responsibility for global unsustainability is shared very unequally. We are part of the most consuming countries in the world, a 20% of the humanity consuming more than 80% of the Mother Earth’s natural resources.
Despite the Covid-19 crisis, the associated fall in consumption in most wealthy countries, the Earth Overshoot Day of the USA was the 14 of March, and that of the UK the 16 of May. Eloquent indicators of the serious lack of intergenerational equity of the system in which we are immersed. Will we be able to maintain this year’s positive trend, reducing resources’ consumption during the next years, or will it be a transient turnaround?