Change is a very obscure word that can mean both good and bad things — depending on the context. The world is changing at an unprecedented rate right before our eyes. And while the changes in technology and innovation are signs of how well the human race is doing, changes in our Earth’s climate are concerning.
The climate crisis has exacerbated extreme weather events that kill or displace thousands, while resulting in trillions of dollars in economic losses. These disastrous consequences are pushing humanity towards a change of a different kind: a change in our priorities. We need a world where policy makers care more about the environmental aspects of any given project over the monetary viability.
The best way to make this happen is to spread awareness and make people realize just how to say and precocious our positions are. To do so, the World Environment Day is celebrated annually — to stress on just how close the Earth is to tipping over the point of no return.
First observed in 1973, World Environment Day is characterized by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) as “a global platform for inspiring positive change”. The event is celebrated on June 5 every year. And this time, the global environment summit that first took place 50 years ago will be hosted by Sweden.
What is the theme of World Environment Day 2022?
The theme of World Environment Day 2022 is Only One Earth, focusing on “Living Sustainably in Harmony with Nature”.
The world population is steadily inching towards 8 billion, and we’re using the equivalent of 1.6 Earths to maintain our current way of life, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) reported. Naturally, the ecosystems cannot keep up with our demands and, as a result, are fast declining.
Now more than ever, we need to remember that we only have one Earth and are running out of time to save our planet. Which is why the theme for this year’s World Environment Day — only one Earth — fits the current scenario perfectly.
Why is World Environment Day important?
World Environment Day urges all of us to protect our natural surroundings. With millions of people from over 150 nations taking part, it is now the world’s largest environmental event. The goal is to involve governments, businesses, civil society, schools, celebrities, cities, and communities in boosting environmental awareness and celebrating environmental action.
According to UNEP, despite a slew of climate agreements, progress toward halting climate change is still too slow. Individuals and civil society must play a critical role in raising awareness and pressing governments and the private sector to make large-scale changes.
Therefore, World Environment Day 2022 calls for “collective, transformative action on a global scale to celebrate, protect and restore our planet,” encouraging everyone, everywhere, to live sustainably and address the climate catastrophe.
How will climate change impact the planet if no action is taken?
In the next two decades, there is a 50% chance that global warming will exceed 1.5°C. To limit global warming to 1.5°C by the end of the century, annual greenhouse gas emissions must be cut in half by 2030.
Ecosystem degradation will affect the well-being of an estimated 3.2 billion people, or 40% of the world’s population. Under a business-as-usual scenario, annual plastic waste entering aquatic ecosystems could nearly triple from 9-14 million tons in 2016 to 23-37 million tons by 2040. Even in the most optimistic scenario, in which net-zero emissions are achieved by 2050, global warming will continue!
All things considered, renewable energy investments that can generate high economic multipliers are the need of the hour, as they have a high potential for crowding in private investment, and are an essential step toward economy-wide decarbonisation.
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