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Unsustainability Natural resources depleted for 2019

polluted water
(KEYSTONE/AP/ELDAR EMRIC)

With just five months left in 2019, humanity has already consumed more than the planet can sustainably produce in one year. The Swiss use over twice as much.

Over the past 20 years, Earth Overshoot Day has moved up two months to July 29, the earliest ever, according to the Global Footprint Networkexternal link. "This means that humanity is currently using nature 1.75 times faster than our planet’s ecosystems can regenerate, equivalent to 1.75 Earths," notes the international sustainability organization.

If everyone lived a Swiss lifestyle, humanity would require about three Earths, pointed out the Swiss branch of environmental organization WWFexternal link on Sunday.

According to WWF, food consumption in Switzerland is responsible for 19% of greenhouse gas emissions and 28% of private environmental pollution. Those who eat meat just three times a week can reduce their ecological footprint by a fifth in the area of food, suggests WWF.

CO2 emissions and compensation

WWF also cites the popularity of air travel as a major contributor to CO2 emissions; it says people in Switzerland fly about three times as much as other Europeans.

However, according to newspaper Le Matin Dimancheexternal link, the Swiss have been contributing more to CO2 emission-compensation schemes. In the first half of this year, they donated around 400% percent more than in the same period last year.

On Sunday the newspaper cited data from Swiss CO2-compensation organization myclimateexternal link, which generated total revenues of CHF1.6 million ($1.61 million) in 2018. The money supports projects in Switzerland as well as 22 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Keystone-SDA/sm

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