Open Letter: EU Overshoot day already here – “Unsustainable and irresponsible”

Publish date: May 3, 2024

317 civil society organisations urge EU leaders to tackle the nature, climate and pollution crises following the upcoming EU elections

Today marks the EU’s overshoot day. That means that if global populations mirrored the consumption patterns of the EU, humanity would exhaust the planet’s natural resources available for the year by May 3rd. [1]

On this occasion, Bellona Europa along with 316 civil society organisations signed an open letter (see PDF below) calling on the heads of states and governments, the Presidents of the EU Commission, Council and Parliament, as well as Members of the EU Parliament to make a political commitment to work towards a climate-neutral, zero-pollution, and nature-positive economy. The open letter was led by BirdLife Europe, Climate Action Network Europe, European Environmental Bureau, Transport & Environment and WWF European Policy Office.

Specifically, civil society calls for:

  • Deepening and accelerating the Green Deal, by fully implementing recently agreed goals and addressing ambition gaps on nature, climate as well as pollution. Bellona believes that the next commission should focus on strengthening the green deal, as an opportunity for Europe to become the largest market globally for low-carbon products. 
  • Radically increasing public climate, environment and social investments. Infrastructure continues to form the backbone of a green and just transition, therefore Bellona calls for increased investments in net-zero infrastructure. 
  • Strengthening EU governance, democracy and the effective participation of civil society. As an international climate NGO, we believe that democratic processes are crucial for achieving climate goals. We must protect democracy with all necessary means, to ensure it serves the priorities of our planet and of those who live in it.

Read the Open Letter here!

[1] Country overshoot days 2024, as calculated by the Global Footprint Network: 

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