- Earth Overshoot Day is the day on which all the resources that the earth can regenerate in a year have been used up worldwide.
- The vast majority of our footprint on the earth is due to greenhouses gasses that we created ourselves.
- Twence’s innovation for capturing and reusing CO2 offers a structural solution for reducing CO2 emissions in the long term.
Twente is a pioneer of smart solutions for future-proof sources of energy. Go to twente.com/renewable-energy for more information!
Global Footprint Network, a global organisation, sets the date of Earth Overshoot Day each year, for which they use complex calculations. The organisation compares humanity’s annual total consumption of resources with the earth’s capacity to produce natural resources in a year. They use data from the United Nations for this.
Our global ecological footprint in 2020 was reduced with almost 10 per cent, from January first to today. According to research by the Global Footprint Network, most of this was due to reduced travel and construction due to lockdowns around the world, caused by COVID-19. CO2 emissions reduced by 14.5 per cent while logging and gathering other forest products reduced by 8 per cent.
However, the calculation shows that humankind still uses 1.6 ‘earths’ yearly in 2020. We are depleting the planet. We will be “in the red” after today, for the rest of the year, according to the Global Footprint Network.
We create more CO2 emissions than what can be absorbed by forests and oceans, we take more fish from the sea than what can be replenished, and we cut forests down faster than they can grow. So for the rest of the year, we will be “in the red”. The Netherlands crossed this line on May third, 2020. This means our country needs three times the earth to meet its needs. The Netherlands is high on the list, together with other European countries with their Earth Overshoot Day in May.
The vast majority of our footprint on the earth is due to greenhouses gasses that we created ourselves. Capturing and reusing CO2 is very important for bringing global warming to a stop. Twence introduced a world-first in 2014; an installation that captures CO2 from the flue gas cleaners in waste-to-energy plants and converts it into sodium bicarbonate (baking powder). This sodium bicarbonate is used in Twence’s own flue gas cleaning processes. Twence uses 2,500 to 3,000 tonnes of its own CO2 annually. They have also taken the next step by using liquid CO2 as a raw material for greenhouse horticulture, among other things, where it is used for growing plants and flowers. In this way, the greenhouse horticulture sector will no longer need to burn natural gas if they want to use CO2 as a growth substance. Twence wants to enlarge the scale on which CO2 is captured soon so that it can be used for even more purposes. Think of the food processing industry, as a building material for biofuels and chemicals, or as a part of building materials.
Twence’s combination of capture and reuse will offer a structural solution for reducing CO2 emissions in the Netherlands in the long term. It will make raw materials and industrial sectors more sustainable through reuse. Twence is taking an essential step towards developing a circular economy and making the industry more sustainable by using CO2 circularly. It is also how Twence contributes to delaying Earth Overshoot Day.
Everyone can show how they contribute to delaying Earth Overshoot Day with the hashtag #MoveTheDate. Many solutions are available, for both companies and individuals, to further delay Earth Overshoot Day: collectively switching to renewable energy, reducing consumption, opting for a low-meat diet, transitioning to a circular economy based on recycling and reuse, or by stimulating green mobility, for example. If we delay Earth Overshoot Day by five days every year, humanity could live off one planet's resources before 2050. If we cut CO2 emissions in half every year, Earth Overshoot Day will be delayed 93 days each year.