We do not need a pandemic to #MoveTheDate.
International organizations agree.

After COVID-19 caused humanity's Ecological Footprint to contract in 2020, pushing the date of Earth Overshoot Day more than three weeks compared to 2019, numerous organizations have responded to Global Footprint Network’s appeal published January 1st to support action in order to #MoveTheDate by design in 2021 and thereafter.

OAKLAND, CA, USA — JANUARY 19, 2021 —UNEP, UNICEF, UNESCO, the European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius, Europe’s Director-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture Themis Christophidou, the EU’s Foreign & Security Policy Service, the CEO of the Scottish EPA Terry A’Hearn, UK-based charity Population Matters, the Green Economy Coalition, Slovenia’s Inštitut za zdravje in okolje, Germany’s Senckenberg Society for Nature Research, American youth NGO Turning Green, as well as energy leader Schneider Electric and other entities and individuals, have been responding on social media to the appeal by Global Footprint Network, published on January 1st, to grow the momentum to implement solutions that #MoveTheDate of Earth Overshoot Day by design, bringing human activity in balance with nature while addressing climate change and biodiversity loss.

“While global agreements can powerfully support humanity’s progress towards a sustainable future, we cannot afford to wait before we take action, one city, one country, one company, one entity, one individual at a time. All of us are called to shaking off the status quo, letting our imaginations soar, embracing possibilities, and championing innovation in all shapes and forms. Ultimately, a constellation of life-sustaining actions is what is needed in order to #MoveTheDate of Earth Overshoot Day intentionally and by design, in 2021 and each year that follows,” Global Footprint Network stated. Full text available here.

Dubbed a “super year” because of the multiple UN summits which are slated to take place on biodiversity (CBD COP15), climate change (UNFCCC COP26), and desertification (UNCCD COP15), 2021 got off to a sobering tone at the One Summit Planet in Paris last week. “Not one of the goals set in the Aichi Declaration on biodiversity was achieved over the past decade and we must contemplate that failure,” France’s president and conference host Emmanuel Macron said.

In this context, Global Footprint Network urges all decision makers to consider this essential lesson which COVID-19 taught us: for all its technological advances, humanity is not immune to the impacts of overusing natural ecosystems, damaging wildlife, and compromising the biosphere. We are not separate from nature – we cannot be healthy on an unhealthy planet. Neither are we separate from one another. We are one biology on one Earth. No effective path to a sustainable future can be found outside of reckoning our one-planet context and transforming the economic structure that generates as much global demand on nature as if we lived on 1.7 planets, according to National Footprint and Biocapacity Accounts 2020 data.


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 60 countries, 40 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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