Our planet continues to face a desperate climate emergency, sparking renewed calls for urgent action from the global population for a greener, more equitable future.
That’s why this year’s theme for Earth Day is no different than the last: “Invest in our Planet.” Now.
It calls on governments, institutions, businesses and communities to reflect on and consider the impact they make on the planet every single day.
It’s no secret that human activity has prompted the loss of biodiversity, depletion of species, a mass of pollution contributing to global warming, loss of trees from agriculture, overconsumption of meat and fish, unsustainable travel, excessive energy use… the list goes on.
Businesses cannot ignore the benefits of investing in the green economy and are adapting to ensure they are more sustainable throughout their entire operations, focusing on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards to align with the climate agenda and ensure a just transition.
You might be thinking, “How can I support Earth Day?”
Earth Day, the world’s largest environmental movement, which first started in 1970, has devised avaried itinerary in which populations are urged to push for:
Grow more trees
Support sustainable fashion
Banish plastic pollution
Attend a beach clean up
Vote to save the earth
There is further information and petitions online to support the above pledges on the Earth Day website.
What else should you know about the climate emergency’s impact on our global population?
Over the past decade, the climate crisis has affected around one in seven people, according to the Red Cross, with 86 per cent of all disasters attributed to extreme weather conditions, from heatwaves to storms.
Hazardous weather and climate-related events during this ten-year period have caused disasters around the globe, including 1,100 deaths in Pakistan due to record-breaking floods and a severe food crisis in parts of Africa.
It has been predicted that by 2050, Britain will be 50 per cent more likely to experience hot summers, which could triple the number of heat-related deaths to approximately 7,000 each year.
Last year, Acre published a blog about Earth Day 2022 and discussed the necessary steps that are needed to be taken by the government, businesses and consumers. Those same steps are still relevant to effect change.
How does all this fit in with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change?
A legally binding agreement was signed by 174 countries and the European Union on Earth Day in 2016. Those who signed the Paris Agreement pledged to develop policies and plans to limit global temperature rises to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
One of its commitments was to ensure developing and climate-vulnerable countries received help to achieve the same goals, via practical and financial help from industrially developed countries.
As many as 93 per cent of people most impacted by climate disasters live in low-resource countries that contribute the least to climate change.
Progress is monitored by the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COPs) every year, aiming to keep global efforts on track to meet the target. To date, some progress has been made on global emission reduction targets, but despite this small feat, the temperatures are on track to rise above the 2°C target, hence mounting pressure for urgent action and the need for global days to reiterate this.
Earth Day shouldn’t just fall on one day, though, if the planet is to be thrown the lifeline it deserves– collaboration, innovation, solutions, and action need to be dominating the conversations more frequently to ensure sustainability sits at the top of every single agenda.
Without the health of the planet, the human race will, quite simply, be obliterated. Yet ironically, humans are the ones armed with the knowledge and tools to save the world as well as themselves.