Products of change. News

100 Days of Possibility leading to COP26

Thu 29 Jul 2021 | 07:37 am GMT
Michelle Urquhart | Products of Change Writer

Earth Overshoot Day has been moving earlier and earlier each year since 1970.

Launched today on Earth Overshoot Day (29 July), the 100 Days of Possibility are proven and scalable solutions that countries, cities and businesses can action to minimise humanity’s ecological footprint. Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year. This year that day is today – July 29. The date is almost as early as 2019, after being momentarily pushed back in 2020 by the coronavirus pandemic-induced lockdowns. In 2021 the carbon footprint of transportation remains lower than pre-pandemic levels. CO2 emissions from domestic air travel and road transport are set to remain 5% below 2019 levels, while international aviation is expected to register 33% below, according the International Energy Agency (IEA). Global energy-related CO2 emissions, on the other hand, are projected to rebound and grow by 4.8% from last year as the economic recovery ignites demand for fossil fuels. In particular, global coal use is anticipated to jump in 2021 and is estimated to contribute 40% of the total carbon footprint this year. Launched today, 100 Days of Possibility is supported by sustainability leaders Global Footprint Network and the Scottish EPA. The initiative features proven and scalable solutions that contribute to bringing humanity’s ecological footprint in balance with the biological resources that the planet’s natural ecosystems can sustainably regenerate. With a world still largely unprepared, and growing concerns about recent extreme weather events, representatives of national governments will gather 100 days from now at what has been deemed the last-chance summit for global climate action – the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow. Fortunately, many solutions already exist today to reverse overshoot and support biological regeneration. 100DaysofPossibility.org will reveal opportunities every day up to COP26. Examples that #MoveTheDate include food waste reduction, refrigerants management, short-chain food systems, smart energy, low-carbon cement, municipal Footprint-driven development strategies, and low-impact ecotourism. “There is no benefit in waiting to take action, regardless of what transpires at the COP,” Global Footprint Network CEO Laurel Hanscom said. “The pandemic has demonstrated that societies can shift rapidly in the face of disaster. But being caught unprepared brought great economic and human cost. When it comes to our predictable future of climate change and resource constraints, individuals, institutions and governments who prepare themselves will fare better. Global consensus is not a prerequisite to recognizing one’s own risk exposure, so let’s take decisive action now, wherever we are,” she added.
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