Earth Overshoot Day 2020 fell on August 22

The novel coronavirus pandemic has caused humanity’s Ecological Footprint to contract. However, true sustainability that allows all to thrive on Earth can only be achieved by design, not disaster.

Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year.

To include the impacts from the coronavirus pandemic this year, Global Footprint Network combined the most reliable data and formed the most reasonable assumptions to assess humanity’s current resource situation.

Changes in carbon emissions, forest harvest, food demand, and other factors that could impact global biocapacity or the Ecological Footprint from January 1 to Earth Overshoot Day were evaluated. The main drivers were the carbon Footprint (reduced 14.5% from 2019) and the forest product Footprint (reduced 8.4% from 2019). Check out the highlights and/or the detailed research report explaining how the date of Earth Overshoot Day was calculated.

HOW THE DATE WAS CALCULATED

Take a Step to #MoveTheDate

We know it can be overwhelming to think about how your personal Footprint contributes to global overshoot.
The truth is, you can take steps to chip away at your impact on the planet.

I join the #MoveTheDate movement

couple preparing vegetarian meal

I beef up my plant-based diet

I travel with an eco-sensibility

I travel with an eco-sensibility

spread of colorful vegetables

I take on food waste

crowded city street

I start a population conversation

I jump in front of the camera

I jump in front of the camera

group of hands holding sprouts

I nurture nature

young woman sitting on floor looking at laptop

I dive into data

two men in business suits riding bicycles

I commute carbon-free

I challenge my city leaders to #MoveTheDate

I challenge my city leaders to #MoveTheDate

I streamline my wardrobe

I streamline my wardrobe

Explore Solutions to #MoveTheDate

Thriving lives within the means of our planet are not out of reach. Plenty of solutions exist in five major areas
for improving sustainability: planet, cities, energy, food, and population.

Planet

How we help nature thrive

Humanity’s quality of life is dependent on the health of our planet’s biological resources including fertile soil, clean water, and clean air necessary for humanity to thrive. Learn More

Cities

How we design and manage cities

Eighty percent of the world population is expected to live in cities by 2050. City planning and urban development strategies are instrumental to balancing the supply of natural capital and population’s demand. Learn More

Energy

How we power ourselves

Decarbonizing the economy is our best possible chance to address climate change, and would improve the balance between our Ecological Footprint and the planet’s renewable natural resources. Learn More

Food

How we produce, distribute, and consume food

How we meet one of our most basic needs–food–is a powerful way to influence sustainability. Sourcing food locally and avoiding highly processed foods can lower the Ecological Footprint. Learn More

Population

How many of us there are

Being committed to everyone living secure lives in a world of finite resources requires addressing population growth. Empowering women is essential for global sustainability. Learn More

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By the Numbers

3800
million years ago life first evident on Earth
121
increase in world population since 1970
-58
decline in average population size of vertebrate species since 1970
57
of humanity’s Ecological Footprint is carbon

1.6 planets are needed to support humanity's demand on Earth's ecosystems.

GFN_horiz_100

Earth Overshoot Day is an initiative of Global Footprint Network, an international research organization that is changing the way the world measures and manages its natural resources. The date of Earth Overshoot Day is calculated with data from Global Footprint Network’s National Footprint and Biocapacity Accounts, available for free at data.footprintnetwork.org.