Dear EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan and EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica,
As citizens concerned about our future and that of future generations, we urge your agencies to appropriately manage the European Union's natural resources now in order to have a chance at a prosperous future.
The EU consumes 2.2 times as much as its own ecosystems can provide (food, fiber, wood, land for buildings and infrastructure, carbon absorption, etc.), according to data from Global Footprint Network. We only have 1 EU.
At the global level, we consume 1.75 times as much as the Earth's ecosystems can sustainably regenerate. That's why Earth Overshoot Day keeps landing sooner and sooner each year – July 29 in 2019.
We see the impacts of our excessive resource demand in the form of deforestation, top soil erosion, fisheries collapse, too much carbon in the atmosphere leading to climate change and extreme weather events – and more. This impacts ecosystems not only in the EU, but also in the countries whose products are consumed here in the EU.
Also, depending on other countries' resources to meet our needs puts the EU at risk: After all, using nature faster than it can regenerate cannot last forever; as resources decline, their price is bound to increase as national economies become increasingly fragile.
We demand you show leadership to bolster the EU's natural ecosystems and ask that you appropriately manage the Union's ecological resources now in order to build a secure and resilient future for us all.