July 28th marked 2022’s Earth Capacity Day, which marks the day each year when humans have depleted the planet’s ecological budget for the year, reports Frettablaðið.
This year’s Earth Capacity Day falls one day earlier than last year. When Earth Capacity Day was first calculated in the 1970s, it fell in December. In 2020, it fell in August.
Earth Capacity Day is calculated by the Global Footprint Network by dividing the planet’s carrying capacity by humanity’s ecological footprint and multiplying it by the number of days in the year.
“We put it in our calendar and we use it to remind people to moderate their consumption,” says environmental specialist at the Environment Agency, Jóhannes Bjarki Urbancic Tómasson. “This is a common problem, not just or Icelanders, but for everyone. We all need to take some responsibility at all levels, governments, companies, and individuals. Everyone needs to do their part to mitigate the impact of this global problem.”
The Global Footprint Network also publishes Capacity Dates for individual countries, however, Iceland is not one of these countries.
“We can assume that Iceland is in a similar situation [to the other Nordic countries],” says Director of Landvernd, Auður Anna Magnúsdóttir. “But the calculation is based on emissions figures to a large extent, and Iceland’s emissions per capita are very high. It is higher than in most of the other Nordic countries.”
Auður believes the government is not doing enough to mitigate climate change, despite the impacts of climate change becoming increasingly noticeable.
“Climate can be seen as a resource, but it is a shared resource that respects no borders,” says Auður. “The climate can absorb a certain amount of greenhouse gases, and it has been a long time since we have exceeded that limit. The ocean also absorbs a lot of greenhouse gases, and the ocean is warming and acidifying due to greenhouse gas emissions.”
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