In the first week of August our planet hit Earth Overshoot Day, the day that we consume more resources than earth can regenerate for the year. This year, Earth Overshoot Day came six days earlier than last year, meaning that we are using up our resources faster, and sooner into the year.
In addition, over the past two months Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean faced several record-breaking hurricanes, starting discussions on climate change and global warming’s role in worsening the degree of these events. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma resulted in damage costs around $290 billion— 1.5% of total U.S. GDP, or a quarter of the total costs of all natural disasters in the United States from 1980 to this year. That doesn’t include the damage from Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico at the end of September, where damage costs could reach $95 billion.
In other news, in September more than 300 companies committed to ambitious science-based climate targets. Ahead of Climate Week, companies including Gap Inc., NIKE, Inc., Levi Strauss & Co., GUESS, Eileen Fisher and VF Corporation committed to setting reduction targets through the Science-Based Targets initiative, an initiative dedicated to furthering the institutionalization of science-based targets in business and policy. 50 of the 300 companies were US companies, demonstrating the commitment of American businesses to acting on climate.
In August, Kenya implemented the world’s toughest law against plastic bags, which calls for imprisonment of up to four years or fine of $40,000 for anyone selling or even using plastic bags. At the end of September, a Brazilian federal court blocked a widely criticized government decree that would open up a large natural reserve in the Amazon to commercial mining.
According to a Pew Research Center survey, people around the world said that climate change was one of the main national security threats, among seven other threats. 38 countries were polled and in 13 countries, mostly in Latin America and Africa, global climate change was the topmost threat.
In September, we were featured in an interview: From improving energy efficiency to boosting ESG investing: Q&A with TruValue Labs’ Laurèn DeMates.
Tip of the Week: Did you know that eating less meat worldwide could move Earth Overshoot Day back by 31 days? Try a new vegetarian recipe, and commit to eating less meat this week. You can even participate in #MeatlessMonday!