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“We find ourselves today in a world facing global threats that demand a unified global response. For Earth Day 2020, we will build a new generation of environmentalist activists, engaging millions of people worldwide.”-Kathleen Rogers
April 22, 2020 will mark 50 years of Earth Day! The theme of Earth Day 2020 is climate action. Climate change represents one of the biggest challenges of the future. Earth Day was formed to help improve the environmental crisis of the pollution from oil spills, smog and rivers. The first Earth Day is credited for launching the modern environmental movement that is now recognised as the largest communal event on the planet.
With many people over the world under some kind of restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, the way in which we mark Earth Day 2020 will be unlike any other. But there are lessons the environmental movement can learn here about working together on a massive scale.
The first Earth Day in 1970 launched a wave of action. This helped to lead to the passing of landmark environmental laws in the US. For instance, the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts were created in response to the first Earth Day in the ’70s. This also informed the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), starting the progression of many countries adopting similar laws. The EPA is the environmental law in the UK that controls waste management, and emissions into the environment.
Earth Day continues to hold major international significance. In 2016, the historic Paris Agreement on climate change was signed on Earth Day. From being first celebrated in 1970, to now including events coordinated globally in more than 193 countries.
National and international collaboration during the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted how communities can work together to combat a common (yet unseen) enemy. Social distancing guidelines mean that Earth Day 2020 will be marked by some of the lowest pollution levels in decades.
European Space Agency satellite images reveal the fall in global nitrogen dioxide levels. The satellite readings show that over the past six weeks, levels of nitrogen dioxide over cities and industrial clusters in Asia and Europe were markedly lower than in the same period last year.
The coronavirus pandemic has shown what can be achieved when organisations and governments work together to achieve a common goal. It gives hope that similar levels of co-ordination can be achieved once social distancing measures relax, as we strive to balance the need for economic output with environmental stewardship of the planet.
Earth Day 2020 will be unlike any other. Showing what simple and accessible changes can do to make a real impact - especially for our environment. Let’s ensure that the message behind earth day is as powerful as possible.
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