Last week was marked with the so-called ecological debt day. This means that we are extracting ecosystems and resources more than the carrying capacity of the planet, which causes a natural imbalance.
It is calculated by dividing the global biocapacity (amount of natural resources created in a given year) by the global carbon footprint (human consumption of natural resources in that year) and multiplying by 365, the number of days in our calendar year. With the current global trends of increasing pressure on ecosystems, we celebrate this day on average two to three days earlier every year.
Based on the Global Footprint Network’s national calculations of carbon footprint and biocapacity, we again reached the ecological debt day earlier this year, compared to last year. In 2022, we reached this day one day earlier, compared to 2021. In 2000, Ecological Debt Day was in October, but this year it is already in August.
This milestone reminds us that the ecological debt that we have been creating for more than half a century has led to a large reduction in biodiversity, an increase in greenhouse gas emissions, and worse food and energy security. The consequences of unsustainable management of resources are increasingly noticeable, as we witness above-average temperatures and heat waves, frequent forest fires, droughts, floods, and other natural disasters.
Key facts about Ecological Debt Day:
- To restore all the resources that humanity currently extracts from nature, we would need the biocapacity of the planet, which theoretically corresponds to the biocapacity of 1.75 of the Earth.
- 60% of the global ecological footprint is carbon emissions. To avoid the disastrous consequences of climate change, we must eliminate emissions by 2050 without increasing the other factors that make up the ecological footprint.
- 3 billion people live in countries that produce less food than they grow and make less profit than the global average.
- Today, food production alone takes up 55% of the biocapacity of our planet.
- 5.8 billion people (72% of the world’s population) live in countries that consume more natural resources than they have available while producing less profit than the global average.
- This year, the ecological debt day and the last day of the year are 156 days apart.
- The fact that we have been celebrating Ecological Debt Day for 50 years means that the Earth would need 19 years to renew all its resources. This is reflected in today’s degradation of ecosystems and the high level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
- If humanity managed to postpone the ecological debt day by 6 days every year, by 2050 we would live within the planetary boundaries. If we wanted to reach the goal of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 °C compared to the pre-industrial era, we would have to postpone the ecological debt day by 10 days annually.
- There are many options available to reduce the ecological footprint that also makes economic sense. At the same time, the value of such options is more likely to increase than the value of factors contributing to ecological debt.
The facts mentioned above are proof that Iskraemeco’s sustainable solutions are the right way for the future. The global situation and risks clearly show us that it is high time to take action with all the means at our disposal and that Iskraemeco, in its operations, its supply chain, and partner relations, takes responsibility for moving to a sustainable society. Our mission is to find solutions to global challenges and rapid changes using our technologies and competencies. We are aware of the great responsibility we have as a developer of solutions in water and energy management. Our goal is to innovate our services and look for new business models to help solve global challenges.