Earth Overshoot Day 2024

Earth Overshoot Day 2024

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

In 2024, Earth Overshoot Day falls on August 1, meaning that on that date mankind will have consumed all of the natural resources that our planet is capable of regenerating throughout the entire year.

From August 1, Earth is then in what is referred to as Environmental Deficit and we maintain this deficit by continuing to liquidate stocks of ecological resources whilst producing more waste, primarily carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.

How is Earth Overshoot Day calculated?

Earth Overshoot Day is calculated by Global Footprint Network, an international research organisation that provides decision-makers with a range of tools designed to help the human economy operate within Earth’s ecological limits.

To determine the date of Earth Overshoot Day each year, Global Footprint Network calculates the number of days of that year that our planet’s biocapacity can provide for mankind’s Ecological Footprint. The remainder of the year becomes global overshoot. Overshoot Day is calculated by dividing Earth’s biocapacity (the amount of natural resources it is able to generate in that year), by humanity’s Ecological Footprint (humanity’s demand for that year), and multiplying by the number of days in the year.

As 2024 is a leap year, the calculation looks like this:

(Earth’s Biocapacity / Humanity’s Ecological Footprint) x 366 = Earth Overshoot Day

Overpopulation = Overshoot

The increasing consumption of earth’s natural resources is undeniably linked to human population growth.

Past overshoot days have fallen on the following dates…

1971 – December 25 (population 3.77 billion*)
1981 – November 20 (population 4.52 billion)
1991 – October 20 (population 5.41 billion)
2001 – September 13 (population 6.23 billion)
2011 – August 6 (population 7.07 billion)
2024 – August 1 (population 8.13 billion)

According to United Nations projections, the human population will likely exceed 11 billion by 2100.

Despite this, Global Footprint Network believe that the right family and lifestyle choices can positively influence the rate at which natural resources are consumed. It estimates that if every other family had one less child, and parenthood was postponed by 2 years, earth Overshoot Day could be pushed back 49 days.

* Population figure shown are to nearest 10 million.

Earth Overshoot Day 2024
Earth Overshoot Day 2024

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    • #14353
      Chris Lewer

      Would changing our lifestyles and consumption habits be enough to push Earth Overshoot Day back? Surely the only solution is to stabilise the population and then begin a gradual decline in numbers over the coming decades?

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