As of July 29, 2021, humanity has depleted the Earth's annual natural resources.

This year, the "overshoot day" has almost returned to 2019 levels, after declining in 2020 as a result of restrictive measures imposed globally to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

"Two main factors contributed to moving forward the day of the overshoot: the 6.6% increase in our carbon footprint compared to 2020 and the 0.5% decrease in global forest biocapacity", explains WWF.

This decrease is largely due to the peak of deforestation recorded in the Amazon, according to the environmental NGO.

The date of the "day of the overrun" is calculated each year by the American NGO Global Footprint Network.

This index aims to illustrate the ever faster consumption of an expanding human population on a planet with limited resources.

To put it in a colorful way, it would take 1.7 Earths this year to meet the needs of the world's population in a sustainable manner.

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 (capacity of ecosystems to regenerate and absorb waste produced by humans, in particular CO2 sequestration).

The "overshoot" occurs when human pressure exceeds the regenerative capacities of natural ecosystems.

It has continued, according to the NGO, to widen for 50 years: December 29 in 1970, November 4 in 1980, October 11 in 1990, September 23 in 2000, August 7 in 2010. In 2020, this date had been postponed by three weeks under the effect of confinements linked to the Covid-19 pandemic.

If this year, the carbon footprint linked to transport remains below pre-pandemic levels, that linked to energy should rebound significantly.

"These data clearly show that the recovery plans of the post-Covid 19 era can only be successful in the long term if they are based on the regeneration and wise management of ecological resources," said Laurel Hanscom, CEO of Global Footprint Network.

With Reuters and AFP

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