Economy & Politics

Saturday, the planet will not be enough for us

This August 22, humanity will have consumed more natural resources than the Earth can renew in a year. The symbolic “day of overtaking” is declining for once this year, under the effect of the covid-19 pandemic.

Patrick JACQUEMOT

Patrick JACQUEMOT

This August 22, humanity will have consumed more natural resources than the Earth can renew in a year. The symbolic “day of overtaking” is declining for once this year, under the effect of the covid-19 pandemic.

(pj with AFP) – It would take 1.6 Earths this year to meet the needs of the world’s population in a sustainable way. Worrying assessment that the American organization has just drawn up Global Footprint which, since 2003, calculates the date when the consumption of humanity exceeds what nature is able to provide over twelve months. For 2020, this “Overshoot Day” therefore falls this Saturday, August 22. Last year, the fateful date was announced for July 29.

Would man have given respite to his environment, become aware of his overexploitation of natural resources? Not sure. Indeed, experts believe that this gap is attributable to the consequences of the global pandemic which has paralyzed entire areas of human activity. What then to push back the date of three weeks. “There is nothing to celebrate because it comes with suffering, it is not done on purpose, but by a catastrophe”, underlines Mathis Wackernagel, president of Global Footprint Network.

The date is calculated by crossing the ecological footprint of human activities (land and sea surfaces necessary to produce the resources consumed and to absorb the population’s waste) and the “biocapacity” of the Earth (the capacity of ecosystems to regenerate and absorb waste produced by humans, in particular CO2 sequestration). “Overshoot” occurs when human pressure exceeds the regenerative capacities of ecosystems. And the phenomenon has continued to grow for 50 years, according to the NGO. Sadly evidenced by the advance in the calendar of this famous day. From December 29 in 1970 to August 22 in 2020 globally.


Global warming promises to be more pronounced than expected, with the worst-case scenario forecasting + 7 ° C in 2100, French scientists have warned by presenting new very alarming climate models, which will serve as a basis for the IPCC.


Reduced to all the States, the “calendar” of Global Footprint is far from being in the honor of Luxembourg. Indeed, the Grand Duchy appears there at a sad second place. Just behind Qatar. Thus, the Luxembourg “day of overtaking” fell this year February 22... Six months before the planet average then. For Belgium, the date is postponed to April 5, May 3 for Germany and May 14 for France.

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