Schneider Electric, a leader in digital transformation, energy management, and automation, is leading the change which is required to achieve both ecological balance and people's well-being, two key components of sustainability.
Each year, Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity has used all the biological resources that Earth can renew during the entire year. This year, it lands on August 22 – reflecting a 9.3% reduction of humanity's Ecological Footprint from January 1st to Earth Overshoot Day compared to the same period last year. This reduction of resource usage is a direct consequence of the coronavirus-induced lockdowns around the world, according to the Global Footprint Network.
If the planet can move the date of Earth Overshoot Day back five days annually, humanity can reach the one-planet, one-year goal before 2050, in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. Cutting global carbon emissions in half would move the date back by three months, according to the Global Footprint Network.
Research by Schneider Electric and the Global Footprint Network indicates that if 100% of the existing building and industry infrastructure were equipped with readily available energy efficiency and renewable energy technology from Schneider Electric and its partners, assuming no shift in human habits, the date of Earth Overshoot Day could be moved back by at least 21 days. Energy retrofits alone could make a difference of three weeks, marking a huge difference to humanity’s ecological footprint.
Ahmed Khashan, Cluster President, Gulf Countries at Schneider Electric, said: “This year’s Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s annual demand on nature exceeds what Earth ecosystems can regenerate in one year. At Schneider Electric, our strategy centers on driving energy and resource efficiency through a vision that is built around making how we live and work more sustainable. Our ultimate goal is to bring human activity in balance with Earth’s resources. This year has shown what we can do when we are forced to make a change. We have to invest more in efficient infrastructure and green technologies to make society sustainable post the pandemic.”
The MENA region is currently responsible for 8.6% of global carbon emissions. Countries in the Gulf region have implemented a number of policies to attempt a comprehensive reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In the UAE, green targets include 50% clean energy in the total energy mix by 2050, and treatment of 75% waste by 2021. Dubai also has a Clean Energy Strategy to achieve 75% clean energy by 2050.
These mandates become necessary as ecological overspending costs are becoming increasingly evident: deforestation, soil erosion, biodiversity loss, and the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leading to climate change and more frequent extreme weather events.