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Celebrating Earth Day 2024


Ankara, 22 April 2024 (TDI): Earth Day 2024 is observed throughout the world on the 22nd of April, to support environmental conservation efforts. It was initially celebrated across US college campuses in 1970, after the huge oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. The movement has since been able to gather 1 billion people in more than 192 countries.

The global theme for Earth Day 2024 is ‘Planet vs Plastics.’

Millions of people protested in the streets of US cities and towns on 22nd April 1970, over the harm caused to the planet and its resources.

The environmental impact of the post-war consumer boom was starting to be felt at the time. Oil spills, factory pollution, and other ecological threats were increasing, with little to zero legislation in place to prevent them.

Worried about the aggravating levels of unchecked environmental destruction, Junior Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, advised a series of “teach-ins” on university campuses throughout the US in 1969 to bring about awareness of environmental threats.

In addition to this, Junior Senator Gaylord Nelson was joined by Congressman Pete McCloskey and activist Denis Hayes, a graduate student at Harvard University, to organize the teach-ins. However, the group soon realized an opportunity to expand the project’s appeal beyond the student community.

Significance of Earth Day

The Earth Day demonstrations left an unforgettable mark on US policy. The US Environmental Protection Agency was born, and multiple laws gathered together to protect the environment. These included the National Environmental Education Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and the Clean Air Act.

Earth Day 2024 and its theme ‘Planet vs Plastics’ brings together students, parents, businesses, governments churches, unions, individuals, and NGOs in a resolute commitment to eliminate plastics for the betterment of human and planetary health.

Moreover, it demands a 60 percent reduction in the production of plastics by 2040, along to set up a plastic-free future for future generations, as reported on the Earth Day website.

Furthermore, Earth Day shone a light on the increasing reality of the imminent climate crisis with a clear message to world leaders and businesses that prompt action is needed to address global warming.

The more recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports that “without further immediate action to curb greenhouse gas emissions, the world is on course for temperatures 3.2°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100.”

“This level of warming would be catastrophic for the planet and all life on it, including humans,” the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change further reports.

Also Read: Pakistan’s Climate Change Coordinator focuses on climate diplomacy

WEF and Climate Change

The World Economic Forum’s Climate Initiative supports the speeding up of global climate action through public and private sector collaboration. The Initiative works across multiple workstreams to develop and apply inclusive and goal-oriented solutions.

Nature is the solution to combatting the climate crisis, slowing down global warming by absorbing 54 percent of human-related carbon dioxide emissions in the past 10 years. Nonetheless, the planet is losing animals, marine species, plants, and insects at an alarming rate, which has not been seen in 10 million years.

80 percent of all threatened or near threatened species are in danger from human activity for food production and ocean use, infrastructure, energy, and mining.

Earth Day is a glimmer of hope in the fight against climate change and nature loss. Celebrating its 54th anniversary, it is crucial to utilize this global movement to act as citizens and governments, consumers and businesses, and as individuals and communities.

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