PARIS – The United States, China and Qatar were accused of environmental plunder on Tuesday as green activists marked “Earth Overshoot Day,” the date at which mankind has exhausted a year’s budget of natural resources.
“In just over eight months, we have used as much nature as our planet can regenerate this year,” said Global Footprint Network, an international think tank that calculates the metric.
“The rest of the year corresponds to overshoot,” the think tank said in a press release. “We will maintain our ecological deficit by depleting oceans of fish, trees and other resources, and accumulating waste such as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”
It would take more than 1½ Earths to meet humanity’s present rate of consumption, the group said.
“We are on track to require the resources of two Earths well before midcentury,” it said.
If the world’s population adopted the lifestyle of a typical resident of China, it would take a little bit less than 1¼ Earths, it said.
“Other countries’ per capita demands on the planet’s ecosystems are even higher: if everybody were to live like United States’ residents today, it would take four Earths to support the global population,” the report said. “In Qatar, the typical resident requires the resources of 6½ Earths.”