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Pandemic recovery moves forward 2021’s Earth Overshoot Day by a Month

  • Extreme weather events a call for help to accelerate climate action
  • South Africa’s Earth Overshoot Day was on July 4
  • Schneider provides solutions to launch climate change initiative

Johannesburg, South Africa, July 29 2021 – 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. South Africa’s own Earth Overshoot Day was on July 4th 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.

Ten years ago, South Africa’s government introduced the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme to support the development of a private renewable energy sector. The program has attracted over R200 billion of private capital for constructing and operating 77 solar and wind facilities, adding approximately 5,000 megawatts of generation capacity to South Africa’s national grid. However, the country still generates the vast majority – over 90 percent – of its electricity from coal. Recently, South Africa’s Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe introduced new regulations that allow private investors and companies to generate and sell up to 100 MW in electricity without a licence.

“All across the world, we are seeing the effects of climate change. We’re feeling it here in the Gulf as well, with temperatures exceeding 50 degrees Celsius in many places,” said Taru Madangombe, VP Energy Business for Anglophone Africa, 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. We are ready to play our part, and we encourage others to do the same.”

About Schneider Electric
Schneider’s purpose is to empower all to make the most of our energy and resources, bridging progress and sustainability for all. We call this Life Is On.
Our mission is to be your digital partner for Sustainability and Efficiency.
We drive digital transformation by integrating world-leading process and energy technologies, end-point to cloud connecting products, controls, software and services, across the entire lifecycle, enabling integrated company management, for homes, buildings, data centers, infrastructure and industries.
We are the most local of global companies. We are advocates of open standards and partnership ecosystems that are passionate about our shared Meaningful Purpose, Inclusive and Empowered values.
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