This year once again we have reached Italian Overshoot Day, the moment when we would have used up the resources available for a year if the whole planet consumed as much as our country. From tomorrow, May 15, we will start consuming more than the planet is able to renew during the year, thus using up the resources for the future. Every year the Global footprint network, the International Sustainability Association that deals with environmental accounting, calculates both globally and nation by nation the Overshoot Day, the Day of the Over-exploitation of Earth’s resources. Overshoot Day indicates the day on which consumption (global or national) exceeds the Planet’s capacity to produce those same resources.
The Italian Overshoot day arrives on almost the same day as last year (in 2019 it was May 15) but, given that 2020 is leap year, there is no real change. So, until the end of the year, we will live by over-exploiting land, forests, energy and fish reserves and we will do so two months earlier than the global Overshoot Day, which last year arrived on 29 July, but which, with every year that passes, comes a few days earlier.
According to the calculations of the Global Footprint Network, our country, which occupies a limited area and is home to just 60 million people, has the ninth largest impact on the planet. Based on our consumption we would need, in order not to compromise the integrity of ecosystems and their ability to renew natural resources, more than two and a half planets, to be precise 2.7, according to the calculations of the Global Footprint Network.
In order to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, many countries have halted most of their activities, with a consequent reduction in environmental impact. It is not yet clear what effect this phase may have on the calculation of the Overshoot day. The Global Footprint Network is collecting data precisely to understand this effect and will announce the date of the World Overshoot Day on June 5, World Environment Day.