News analysis

Earth Overshoot Day: Humanity’s demands pushing planet to its limits

July 28 marks Earth Overshoot Day, when humanity's demand for natural resources and services exceeds what the planet can regenerate. Humanity, with its rapid population growth, insatiable demand and consumer lifestyles, is living like it needs 1.75 earths, well beyond its means.

Humanity is living like it needs 1.75 Earths, well beyond its means. PHOTO: AFP
Areas of forest that have been cleared for oil palm plantations in Bawa village in Aceh, Indonesia. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
A worker from the Leuser Conservation Forum replanting tree saplings in the Aceh Tamiang area in 2017. PHOTO: AFP
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SINGAPORE - Humanity has become a bad debtor. For decades, it has been using up natural resources faster than the earth can regenerate them.

And each year, this ecological deficit widens to try to meet the needs of nearly eight billion people, underscoring a growing crisis that experts say threatens future generations and the health of the planet.

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