Each year, International Mother Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd as a reminder of our collective responsibility in protecting the Earth and all the life it supports. It is also an opportunity to raise awareness around the challenges we face regarding the well-being of the planet, with an upraising focus on the pressing impacts of climate change.
Last year, Earth Day coincided with the signature of the Paris Agreement by 175 parties (174 countries and the European Union) during a high-level ceremony convened by former United Nations Secretary-General - Ban Ki-moon in New York. Nation States agreed to work to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and given the grave risks, aiming not to exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius rise.
“Climate change is intrinsically linked to public health, food and water security, migration, peace, and security. It is a moral issue. It is an issue of social justice, human rights and fundamental ethics. We have a profound responsibility to the fragile web of life on this Earth, and to this generation and those that will follow.” - Ban Ki-moon stated.
This year's theme set by earthday.org is Environmental & Climate Literacy and it aims to “empower everyone with the knowledge to inspire action in defense of environmental protection”.
Here are 6 facts that will inspire you to take action to stop climate change, starting today!*
1. Some 800 million people (11% of the world’s population) are currently vulnerable to climate change impacts such as droughts, floods, heat waves, extreme weather events and sea-level rise.
2. Eleven percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans can be blamed on deforestation – comparable to the emissions from all of the cars and trucks on the planet.
3. 2016 was warmest year on record. NASA and NOAA data show that global averages were 1.78 degrees F (0.99 degrees C) warmer than the mid-20th century average, making 2016 the third year in a row with record-setting surface temperatures.
4. Global sea level rose about 8 inches in the last century. The rate in the last two decades, however, is nearly double that of the last century.
5. Glaciers are retreating almost everywhere around the world — including in the Alps, Himalayas, Andes, Rockies, Alaska and Africa.
6. A mature tree can reduce peak summer temperatures by up to 9° Fahrenheit. But trees are falling at an alarming rate and every living thing that depends on them is in jeopardy…67,000 acres of rainforest destroyed per day *Based on 24.5 million acres destroyed in 2014.
For more information about the Earth Day please visit http://www.un.org/en/events/motherearthday/ and http://www.earthday.org/
* Source: Conservation.org / rainforest-alliance.org