This year’s Earth Overshoot Day has moved almost a month forward, in part due to the world’s economies recovering from 2020 and the growing demand for power fueled by hydrocarbons. Each year, Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity has used all the biological resources that Earth can renew during the entire year. Last year, that date was August 22 – reflecting a 9.3% reduction of humanity's Ecological Footprint from January 1st to Earth Overshoot Day compared to 2019. This year’s date represents a ten percent increase and sets the Earth back to pre-pandemic levels of resource usage. Saudi Arabia’s own Earth Overshoot Day was on April 12th of this year.
In response to this, Schneider Electric and Global Footprint Network (GFN), a research organization that tracks how the world manages natural resources, today launched the “100 Days of Possibility” initiative, which aims to promote solutions that help address climate change and biodiversity loss.
The 100 days referenced in the initiative’s name mark the time left until the start of the 26th annual UN Climate Conference (COP26), when government officials from around the globe will gather in Glasgow, Scotland, to try to agree on effective actions to combat climate change. The solutions highlighted by the project underpin its key message: That companies, governments and individuals can take action now – and there is no need to wait for decisions made at COP26.
Opportunities and solutions across all sectors will be revealed each day leading up to COP26 on 100DaysofPossibility.org. These will highlight the many ways that everyone can #MoveTheDate of Earth Overshoot Day. Examples include proposals for 100% renewable power grids, smart homes, and food waste reduction. Schneider Electric, declared the world’s most sustainable corporation by Corporate Knights earlier this year, showed its support of the initiative by submitting six of its climate solutions to the “100 Days” list.
Over the past two years the Kingdom has introduced a raft of sustainability initiatives. In 2019 the Kingdom introduced a green building rating system called Mostadam to promote energy efficiency. At the beginning of 2021, Saudi Arabia unveiled plans for THE LINE, a zero-carbon city within NEOM zone, the kingdom's futuristic business hub. And earlier this year, Saudi Arabia’s government launched the Saudi Green Initiative, one of the region’s most ambitious sustainability plans that aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions in the Middle East by 60 per cent, raise the country’s use of renewable energy to 50 percent of total electricity output by 2030, and eliminate more than 130 million tonnes of carbon emissions using clean hydrocarbon technology.
“All across the world we are seeing the effects of climate change, including here in Saudi Arabia,” said Mohamed Shaheen, Cluster President Saudi Arabia and Yemen, Schneider Electric. “As we recover from the pandemic, we must focus on the bigger challenge of ensuring that global temperatures don’t rise by more than two degrees Celsius. We do this by investing in renewables, promoting energy efficiency, and creating the conditions for green economies to thrive. Governments, businesses, and the public must work hand-in-hand if we’re going to achieve this goal. Saudi Arabia has announced major green initiatives this year and we’re excited to be part of plans to make the country greener.”