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We live on credit at the expense of nature!

This year, the ominous milestone of Earth Overshoot Day falls on August 2. Alarmingly, Slovenia began operating in the ecological red as early as April 18.
by Monja Ferčec
August 1, 2023 · 4 min read

Every year, we designate Earth Overshoot Day as the point at which our annual resource consumption surpasses what the Earth can generate within an entire year. This excessive usage manifests in various forms, including the emission of more carbon dioxide than our forests and oceans can absorb, the rapid depletion of fish stocks, and premature deforestation. These actions contribute to an escalation of extreme weather events, such as severe heatwaves, uncontrollable forest fires, devastating floods, and harsh droughts.

The Global Footprint Network calculates Earth Overshoot Day using a blend of national footprint and biocapacity data. In 2023, this date arrived first in Slovenia on April 18, followed by Montenegro on May 13, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina on May 29, North Macedonia on June 7, Serbia and Kosovo on July 8, with Albania slated for November 3. Such a pattern indicates our reliance on environmental credit, which ultimately robs future generations of the richness of nature.


This is when we would reach Overshoot day if we lived like …


“In fewer than eight months, we’ve exhausted the resources Earth can renew in an entire year. There’s been a slight improvement over the last five years, but it’s difficult to attribute this to an economic slowdown or decarbonization initiatives,” underscores Nevenka Lukić Rojšek from WWF Adria. She further stresses the urgent need for acceleration in environmental debt reduction to align with the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCCR) goal: a 43% reduction in global carbon emissions by 2030 (from 2019 levels). To achieve this, we need to advance Environmental Debt Day by 19 days annually for the next seven years.

We would need another Earth to continue living, the way we live now.

Potential solutions to shrink our ecological overshoot and foster biological rejuvenation exist. They could significantly push back the date of Ecological Debt Day. A wide array of promising initiatives is spotlighted on the Power of Possibility platform. 

For instance, 

  • increasing low-carbon electricity sources globally from the current 39% to 75% could advance the date by 26 days. 

  • Cutting food waste by 50% would gain us an extra 13 days, and 

  • strategically planting trees could add another 2.1 days.

Earth Overshoot Day serves as a stark reminder of our relentless overexploitation of Earth’s resources, leading to an ever-accelerating ecological and climate crisis. This perilous behavior is not just irresponsible but gravely dangerous, necessitating immediate interventions. It is incumbent upon world leaders to use their political influence to recognize the urgency of the environmental predicament and chart a course toward sustainability. 

The recently enacted Nature Restoration Act signifies a positive shift in this direction. Yet, anticipation builds for its full ratification and obligatory enforcement. 

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