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Environment: today is Earth Overshoot Day. Mikkonen (EU Council), “circular economy” offers “solutions” to excessive consumption

As of today, we, the inhabitants of the Earth, have consumed more natural resources than our planet will produce in 2019. This is the so-called “Earth Overshoot Day”. The date is determined by calculations made by the Global Footprint Network, which stated: this date “has moved up by two months over the past 20 years and this year’s date is the earliest ever”. It would take 1.75 planets to meet our current consumption needs. Today’s date is an “average” date since every country has its own “overshoot day”: Qatar was the first country to use up its allowance of resources (on 11 February); the US exhausted its allowance on 15 March; and Italy on 15 May. The most virtuous country is Indonesia whose allowance of natural resources will last until 18 December. Other countries that will exhaust their resources in December include Ecuador, Iraq, Nicaragua, and Cuba. “We must take quick action to reduce our consumption of natural resources. The Earth cannot support our overconsumption, which is a major cause of biodiversity loss and the progression of climate change”, said Krista Mikkonen, Finnish Minister of the Environment. One of the priorities of Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU is precisely to develop a EU strategy for a circular economy which is “an opportunity for us to reuse the natural resources we have already used, produce less waste and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from industry”, Minister Mikkonen pointed out.

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