Louise Sallé 6:27 a.m., July 28, 2022, modified at 6:27 a.m., July 28, 2022

This Thursday, July 28, marks Earth Overshoot Day in 2022, when humanity has exhausted the resources the Earth can provide in a year, according to calculations by the Global Footprint Network.

But several solutions exist to still try to save the planet and to move back this day as much as possible.

From today, the planet lives on credit.

This July 28 marks the day of the overshoot in 2022. It is measured each year by the NGO Global Footprint Network.

We have consumed all the resources that the planet regenerates in a year, and we nibble, for the days we have left, our reserves of water, soil, forest, carbon storage, etc.

This year, we will consume the equivalent of 1.75 times what the Earth produces naturally.

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Halving meat consumption saves us 17 days

This date of the day of the overshoot continues to advance.

In 1970, it occurred on December 29.

Humanity was then almost "in equilibrium".

But in the 2000s, it arrived in September.

In 2021, it stopped on July 9.

There are, however, solutions to push back this day of the overshoot. 

Since this day is in fact calculated on the quantity of natural spaces exploited, it suffices, for example, to consume less meat.


- Overshoot Day: what if we were "too many" on Earth?

“By halving meat consumption globally, there is the possibility of pushing back the date of the overshoot day by 17 days”, explains Pierre Cannet, spokesperson for WWF France who works alongside the Global Footprint Network to calculate overshoot day. 

"Our meat consumption relies on a lot of resources. For example, a European consumes 61 kilos of soy per year. And 80% of this soy is consumed as animal feed."

Halving food waste saves 13 days

Halving food waste, which represents 40% of the food produced each year, would save us 13 days.

And decarbonizing half of the electricity would bring us 42 days forward.

Because from July 28, the earth no longer absorbs the CO2 that we emit through fossil fuels.

The ecosystems are also saturated largely because of that. 

"These unabsorbed fossil fuels end up directly in the atmosphere, continues Pierre Cannet, and correspond to what is called climate change".

"Within 30 years, this means that we will reach points of no return, tipping points vis-à-vis droughts, heat waves, fires...", he continues. 

It is still possible to change

"There is no fatality because it is still possible to change through changes in agricultural and food systems, through decarbonization of transport, housing... Both at the French level, at the European level and in international negotiations.

Rich countries are not left out in the face of this challenge.

They must provide a large part of the effort since their responsibility is important in the earliness of this date.

Indeed, if, for example, the world lived like the French, we would reach this overshoot day on May 5 for the year 2022.