Earth Overshoot Day: The Debt We Can’t Ignore
It’s the day when, as a planet, we collectively reach the limit of how much resources we can use this year without jeopardising the planet’s ability to replenish those resources for the future.
Take a lake full of fish: there’s a limit to the amount of fish that can be caught each year while still leaving enough to reproduce and build back the stock for next year. Today we hit that limit, for the planet as a whole.
Our shared natural resources – from fish to fuel – are vital to life on Earth. But from today until the end of 2015, we’re building up a debt to the planet: one that manifests itself in dwindling biodiversity, impoverished soils and the threat of irreversible climate change.
By the 31st of December, we’ll have used the equivalent of 1.6 planets’ worth of resources. At a time when politicians talk daily of a need to live within our means fiscally, we’re a long way from living within our means ecologically.
The issue is all the more crucial for the UAE and the Middle East. In the 2014 WWF Planet Living report, the UAE ranked third in its ecological footprint index – only Kuwait and Qatar ranked higher.
The footprint index measures the demands on forest, fishing, cropland and carbon products, such as petrol and diesel.
As an example, in terms of water consumption, in 2004 Dubai was using 177 million gallons per day, but as the population grew, that figure hit 316 million gallons per day in 2014.
Everyone is encouraged to reduce their unnecessary use of resources and help spread awareness of this matter.
Khidmah LLC takes part in this initiative by implementing sustainability actions in all its offices and communities.