20 August: Earth Overshoot Day 2013
The Earth Overshoot Day for the year 2013 was observed on 20 August 2013. The day is an approximate calendar date on which humanity exhausted nature's budget for the year. The date changes every year according to the consumption of resources.
The Earth Overshoot Day marks the approximate date our resource consumption for a given year exceeds the planet’s ability to replenish. From this day on, it would mean that humanity has exhausted the nature’s budget for the year and we are operating in overdraft.
The concept of Earth Overshoot Day was originally developed by Global Footprint Network partner and U.K. think tank New Economics Foundation. It is the annual marker of when we begin living beyond our means in a given year.
Earth Overshoot Day helps to measure the gap between our demand for ecological resources and services, and how much the planet can provide.
Earth Overshoot Day is calculated from 2007 data (the most recent year for which data are available) and projections based on historical rates of growth in population and consumption, as well as the historical link between world GDP and resource demand.
What is Overshoot?
For most of human history, humanity has been able to live off of nature’s interest - consuming resources and producing carbon dioxide at a rate lower than what the planet was able to regenerate and reabsorb each year.
Earth Overshoot Day is an estimate, not an exact date. It’s not possible to determine with 100 percent accuracy the day we bust our ecological budget. Adjustments of the date that we go into overshoot are due to revised calculations, not ecological advances on the part of humanity. Based on current assumptions, Global Footprint Network data now suggests that since 2001, Earth Overshoot Day has been moving three days earlier each year.
What: The Earth Overshoot Day
When: 20 August 2013