The resources of the planet

The report was compiled by environmental groups WWF and Global Footprint Network

Earth's 2017 resource 'budget' spent by 2 August

Every natural resource that we use from this day - 2 August - onwards is in effect unsustainable in the long term.

Humanity's resource security is at stake. This year, it falls a day earlier than it did in 2016. "Living within the means of one planet is technologically possible, financially beneficial, and our only chance for a prosperous future", said the organization's CEO Mathis Wackernagel in a press release.

In the report, the environmental groups have stated: "By August 2, 2017, we will have used more from Nature than our planet can renew in the whole year". Food alone represents 26 percent of humanity's ecological footprint.

Different countries also have different Earth Overshoot Days, depending on how ecologically-friendly they are.

The Ecological Footprint measures the productive areas that a given population demands from nature to satisfy its consumption, including plant-based food and fiber products, livestock and fish products, timber and other forest products, land for urban infrastructure and space to absorb its waste, especially carbon emissions from fossil fuels.

The report claims that the equivalent of 1.7 planets would be required to produce enough to meet humanity's needs at current consumption rates. Meanwhile, China, the country with the largest total Ecological Footprint, is firmly committed to building an Ecological Civilization, with many initiatives to accelerate its carbon peak. The carbon footprint makes up 60 percent of humanity's Ecological Footprint. The Ecological Footprint also can be scaled for cities and even individuals with an online calculator.

WWF and the Global Footprint Network announced that Earth Overshoot was today - the earliest it has ever been.

A number of politicians, universities and businesses have also committed to adopting the goals of the Paris Climate Accord, following President Trump's decision to withdraw the US from the agreement on June 1. This could be reduced to 16 percent simply by cutting food waste in half and eating more fruits and vegetables, according to the group.

Earth Overshoot Day: How many planets would we need?

Just this year, China set a goal to reduce meat consumption 50 percent by 2030.

The date of Earth Overshoot Day is calculated by comparing the amount of ecological resources the Earth can generate that year, by humanity's demand for that year. "Obviously, one can only hope that all governments, especially in democratic, high-income countries, follow in its footsteps and deploy their own innovative policies that are appropriate for their circumstances".

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