HUMANS will have used up our quota of the Earth’s biological resources by late July, almost a month earlier than last year, campaigners have warned.

The Global Footprint Network has calculated that this year’s Earth Overshoot Day will fall on July 29, several weeks sooner than last year when it fell on August 22.

Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity has used all the natural resources that Earth regenerates during the entire year.

Campaigners said this year’s date is almost as early as 2019, when it fell on July 26, after being momentarily pushed back last year by lockdowns.

The National:

Ahead of the COP26 UN climate change conference in Glasgow, campaigners said that leaders must “put the planet first” as part of post-Covid recovery plans. Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, announced the date of Earth Overshoot Day on behalf of the Global Footprint Network and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa).

She said: “With almost half a year remaining, we will already have used up our quota of the Earth’s biological resources for 2021 by July 29. If we need reminding that we’re in the grip of a climate and ecological emergency, Earth Overshoot Day is it.”

She added: “Let Earth Overshoot Day be our call to arms.

“In November the eyes of the world will be on Glasgow, host of COP26, the climate summit that needs to make the decisions that will deliver our planet on a safer and more sustainable future.

“We’ve got the opportunity here in Glasgow to show the world what we’re doing, coalescing together as a city to show real change, to respond to the climate and ecological emergency. Let’s put our planet first and let’s ‘Move The Date’ together.”

This year the carbon footprint from transportation remains lower than pre-pandemic levels with CO2 emissions from domestic air travel and road transport set to remain 5% below 2019 levels and international aviation expected to register 33% below, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

However, global energy-related CO2 emissions are projected to rebound and grow by 4.8% from last year as the economic recovery ignites demand for fossil fuels, while global coal use is anticipated to jump and is estimated to contribute to 40% of the total carbon footprint this year.

Global Footprint Network chief executive Laurel Hanscom said: “As the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is launched on World Environment Day, June 5, this data makes abundantly clear that recovery plans in the post-Covid era can only be successful in the long term if they embrace regeneration and ecological resource efficiency.”