Good Food Finance Network partners Gunhild Stordalen and Jeremy Coller, along with Prof. Johan Rockström, published an op-ed to mark Earth Overshoot Day, examine the role of food systems, and highlight the need to secure a safe operating space for humanity.
Earth Overshoot Day marks the date in the year when the annual capacity of our planet to regenerate what we take from it is used up. Beyond this point, we eat into our planet’s natural capital. That day comes earlier every year, and our food systems are at the heart of this.
We are fast depleting the Earth’s planetary resources that provide the basis for human wellbeing, development, and resilience against shocks. Many of these systems, from forests to coral reef systems, took millennia to establish.
Worryingly, this summer has seen a series of mega-extreme events: from record heat in British Columbia and Siberia to unprecedented flooding in Western Europe, China and India.
Food systems shape societies and determine economic opportunity, but also drive the rapid spread of diet-related illness and threaten the vital ecosystem services – including clean air, fresh water, soil formation, pollination and climate stability – that make possible equitable prosperity and human existence itself.