This year’s Earth Day theme is “Invest in Our Planet.” Green investments for a sustainable future will be the focus of the organizers from Earthday.org, whose mission is to diversify, educate and mobilize environmental movements around the world. Every year more than a billion people and 150,000 partner organizations from 192 countries take part in activities on April 22, which makes Earth Day the largest citizen event in the world, the organization said.
The organizers of Earth Day seek to engage governments, institutions, organizations, individuals, along with businesses, in a worldwide campaign aimed at pushing aside barriers that have been erected by the fossil fuel industry and economy. The goal is to redirect all the attention to creating a 21st-century economy that brings back the healing and health of the planet, restores care for the planet, protects all living species, including our own, and provides opportunities for everyone on the planet, said the president of the organization, Kathleen Rogers.
Rogers: The aim is to push aside barriers erected by the fossil fuel industry and economy, and redirect all the attention to creating a 21st-century economy that brings back the healing and health of the planet
If businesses do not act immediately, climate change will increasingly damage the economy, increase scarcity, take away profits and job prospects, and affect all of us, according to Earthday.org.
In addition to coordinating global events, the organizers will present more guidelines and conclusions in keeping with the theme of this year’s Earth Day – “Invest in Our Planet.”
Sustainable financing for prosperity
Private sector innovation with public support accelerates the necessary change better than anything else. It is already known that such business practices pay off, notes Earthday.org. Studies have shown a direct correlation between sustainable business practices, share prices, and business performance.
Studies have shown a direct correlation between sustainable business practices, share prices, and business performance
Companies that strengthen Environment Social Governance (ESG) standards have better profitability, stronger finances, happier employees, and more resilient stock performance, according to Earthday.org.
It is no longer a question of choosing between green and long-term profits, because sustainability is the path to prosperity. Today’s imperative is for businesses of all sizes to take action and embrace the benefits of a green economy, both for human and business reasons.
Investing in a sustainable economy
Regulations, incentives, and public-private partnerships are the keys in the hands of the governments to transform and build a green economy.
Money talks when it comes to climate change. Governments should encourage their countries’ citizens, businesses, and institutions to build a resilient future and a strong green business practice, not only as an ethical but also as a lucrative option.
The global fossil fuel industry receives USD 11 million in subsidies every minute, which is over USD 5.9 trillion annually
The global fossil fuel industry receives subsidies of USD 11 million every minute, which is over USD 5.9 trillion a year, and that amount is growing, Earthday.org notes.
A shift to policies and partnerships that build a renewable economy is needed to kick-start a sustainability revolution.
Each individual has an impact
Individuals have a simple but effective role to play. What everyone does and how they do it, what choices they make, and how they act will have a huge impact on ecosystems, but also on the pace of corporate and government activities.
What everyone does, what choices they make, and how they act will have a huge impact on the pace of both corporate and government activities
Each individual has the power to support and lobby for companies that take concrete steps towards climate responsibility and nature protection, as well as to fight against those who do not.
Generation Z can provide inspiration, as 45% percent of young people born after 2000 have stopped purchasing certain brands for ethical reasons or over sustainability concerns, notes Earthday.org.
Change is already happening
Governments, companies and individuals all fear change, but the status quo, the way we live today, is changing before our eyes, Earthday.org notes. It is necessary to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5°C.
Since the first Earth Day was held in 1970, the world’s population has doubled, from 3.7 billion to 7.9 billion. Global CO2 emissions have risen from 13.7 to 36.3 billion tons per year.
Global CO2 emissions have risen from 13.7 to 36.3 billion tons per year since 1970
The average temperature on the surface of the planet has risen by 0.94°C. The ocean ice surfaces have shrunk from 6.9 to 4.7 million km2, and sea levels are 12 cm higher.
One-fifth of the tropical forests in the Amazon have been destroyed. That is about 743,000 km2. According to the International Union for Nature Conservation (IUCN), more than 40,000 species are vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered. Among these, there is 14% of bird species, 26% of mammal species, and 40% of amphibian species, while 897 animal species have been declared recently extinct.
Individual and collective action
A green future is a prosperous future, and this is the moment to change the business and political environment, as well as the way the climate is to be handled. It is necessary to invest together in the planet in order to preserve and protect health and ensure conditions for life, says Earthday.org.
In building the future, each has a unique role: individuals, entrepreneurs, businesses, innovators, and governments, and they need to act both individually and together, Rogers says.
Individually, each in their own domain, and together, in a global effort. And how this pair can be reconciled in the business domain remains to be seen. Because every day is the day of the planet.