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29 July 2021- The Day Earth Busts Its Budget!

Tomorrow is the day when Earth busts its biological budget. Instead of taking a year, in just eight months, we have reached Earth Overshoot Day 2021: 29 July 2021. This is the day when humanity has used all of our planet’s natural ecological resources and moved into overdraft. Deforestation, soil erosion, biodiversity loss, and the build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the cost of this global ecological overspending.

We are using our planet’s resources faster than it can regenerate. We would need 1.7 Earths in order to keep up with humanity’s demand on our planet’s ecosystem.

As a direct consequence of COVID-induced lockdowns, in 2020 it took longer to reach Earth Overshoot Day by nearly a month. But according to the Global Footprint Network, 2021 sees a return to excessive ecological spending and a return to 2019’s figures.

“It is sad to see the world has returned to a ‘business as usual’ mentality when it comes to our planet. If we were a business, we would have gone bust long ago. If we do nothing, nature will close up shop and we will pay the ultimate price. Our health and well-being is directly linked to the health of our planet, so by protecting nature, we protect ourselves. We are spending our way to disaster, but instead, we can work together to end business as usual, and build a future in which we live in harmony with nature,” says Livia Esterhazy, WWF-New Zealand CEO.

While our planet’s resources are finite, the power of people is not. People have the power to make changes to move the date. Solutions that #MoveTheDate are available and financially advantageous. The #MoveTheDate Solutions Map invites people to champion existing solutions. Today is the day we are launching 100 Days of Possibility. 100 Days from now, representatives from the world’s national governments will gather for what has been deemed the last-chance summit for global climate action - the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow. will reveal opportunities, from all sectors of the economy, to help move the date. From food waste reduction to low-impact ecotourism. We all can play our part to restore the balance between people and nature.


About WWF-New Zealand

WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations, with more than five million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries and territories. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the Earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature. We aim to do this by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. WWF has been working in New Zealand since 1975.

Find us at and follow us on Twitter @WWFNewZealand

How Earth Overshoot Day 202 was calculated

Ecological Footprint data for more than 200 countries and regions

Footprint Calculator

About the Ecological Footprint

The Ecological Footprint is the most comprehensive biological resource accounting metric available. It adds up all of people’s competing demands for biologically productive areas – food, timber, fibres, carbon sequestration, and accommodation of infrastructure. Currently, carbon emissions from burning fossil fuel make up 60% of humanity’s ecological footprint. The Footprint Calculator enables people to calculate their own Ecological Footprint and their personal Earth Overshoot Day, draws more than 2.5 million users per year, and is now available in eight languages.

About Global Footprint Network

Global Footprint Network is an international sustainability organization that is helping the world live within the Earth’s means and respond to climate change. Since 2003 we’ve engaged with more than 50 countries, 30 cities, and 70 global partners to deliver scientific insights that have driven high-impact policy and investment decisions. Together, we’re creating a future where all of us can thrive within the limits of our one planet.


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