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02/08/19 We’ve Already Used Up All Of Earth’s Budgeted Resources For The Year

For real. No joke. We’ve already used up our allowance for natural resources – including water, soil, and clean air – for all of 2019 and it’s only the start of August. Scary times.

A new report by sustainability organisation Global Footprint Network shows that this year’s Earth Overshoot Day – the date when consumption for the year exceeds the Earth’s capacity to regenerate those resources – is the earliest ever.

July 29 is Earth Overshoot Day for 2019.

At our current consumption rates, we would reportedly need 1.75 planets to produce enough to meet humanity’s needs, meaning we’re using resources almost twice as fast as we should. The study declares: “The costs of this global ecological overspending are becoming increasingly evident in the form of deforestation, soil erosion, biodiversity loss, or the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The latter leads to climate change and more frequent extreme weather events.”

Earth Overshoot Day has moved forward drastically over the last 40 years, moving two whole months in the last two decades alone.

Although we are currently able to overuse resources, Global Footprint Network founder Mathis Wackernagel states that humanity will eventually have to operate within the means of the Earth’s resources, with balance restored either by disaster or design.

“We have only got one Earth,” Wackernagel presses, “this is the ultimate defining context for human existence. We can’t use 1.75 without destructive consequences.”

The organisation is now pushing its #MoveTheDate campaign which aims to move Earth Overshoot Day back by five days each year, allowing “humanity to reach one-planet compatibility before 2050”. The primary aim of the campaign is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, with the study detailing that cutting CO2 by 50 per cent from fossil fuel burning would give humanity 93 more days yearly.

 

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Image courtesy: Protesters in Parliament Square, London demanding change to climate actionvia | Twitter (@_HWright) 

 

Although the UK government has pledged to reach zero carbon emissions by 2050 – a date slammed as too late to make change – the British public still rightly thinks there isn’t enough being done to tackle our ecological emergency.

The fashion industry continues to be one of the most resource intensive industries in the world, and greatly contributes to this ecological problem. In fact, the fashion industry is contributing more to climate change than the aeronautical and shipping industries combined and it’s estimated that if this trend continues, the industry could account for a quarter of the world’s carbon budget by 2050.

 

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"Fashion can be a player in protecting the planet" Pharrel Williams