Earth Overshoot Day 2022
Today, July 28th, is Earth Overshoot Day for 2022. This is the day when globally, we have used all the biological resources that our Earth regenerates during the entire year. We now need 1.75 Earths in order to maintain this level of consumption.
A country’s overshoot day is the date on which Earth Overshoot Day would fall if the entire world consumed like the people in this country and so for Ireland, we reached our Overshoot Day back on the 21st April.
Past Earth Overshoot Days
The date on which we reach Earth Overshoot Day has shifted gradually each year from 25th December in 1971, to the 5th September in 2000 to now reaching the end of July in 2022. This month has seen temperatures soar across the world and wildfires grow in ferocity and number. The choices we make as individuals and as societies is of vital importance if we are to tackle climate change. Climate change is a threat to human wellbeing and the health of the planet. Any further delay in concerted global action will miss a brief and rapidly closing window to secure a liveable future. Our climate action goals set for 2030 and 2050 can only be achieved with action now.
A Just Transition
One of the fundamental principles of a Just Transition is to leave no people, communities, economic sectors or regions behind as we transition to a low carbon future. Transition is not just about reducing emissions. This is just one part. It is also about transforming our society and our economy, and investing in effective and integrated social protection systems, education, training and lifelong learning, childcare, out of school care, health care, long term care and other quality services, Social investment must be a top priority of transition because it is this social investment that will support those people, communities, sectors and regions as we make the difficult transition to a carbon-neutral economy, transforming how our economy and society operates.
The coming decade will be one of transformation as we try to meet our climate goals. There are some specific policies that Social Justice Ireland has consistently advocated for, that would support us in meeting these targets in the years ahead. These are:
- Set ambitious emissions reduction targets for 2030 and ensure sufficient resources to support implementation of these targets;
- Adopt targets and a reporting system for each of the Sustainable Development Goals;
- Integrate a Sustainable Development Framework into economic policy;
- Introduce a strategy for Ireland that includes the principles of the circular economy and cradle-to-cradle development;
- Introduce shadow national accounts, and assign value to natural capital and ecosystems in our national accounting systems;
- Develop a comprehensive mitigation and transition programme to support communities and people in the transition to a low carbon society;
- Develop a progressive and equitable environmental taxation system;
- Develop a new National Index of Progress encompassing environmental and social indicators of progress as well as economic ones;
- Develop a Just Transition Dialogue structure at regional and national level.