As Earth Day approaches, climate change campaigners from across the globe are mobilizing to raise awareness and encourage action. In the United Kingdom, protesters assembled near the parliament building, advocating for increased efforts to combat global warming. Earth Day events around the world will include tree planting and trash removal, marking the 54th anniversary of this global environmental celebration.
This year’s Earth Day follows a series of extreme weather events, including record-high temperatures in Thailand and a deadly heatwave in India. Climate scientists have cautioned that average global temperatures could reach unprecedented levels by 2023 or 2024.
Pope Francis, a long-time supporter of environmental causes, has called on individuals to fulfill their moral obligation to protect the environment. Citing the Book of Genesis, he reminded his followers of their responsibility to be stewards of creation.
Environmental Activism Gains Momentum Worldwide
In London, climate change activists from Greenpeace UK and Extinction Rebellion participated in a four-day event called “The Big One.” Approximately 30,000 individuals are expected to attend family-friendly rallies and marches, reflecting a shift in strategy for Extinction Rebellion, which has previously employed more disruptive tactics.
Internationally, Earth Day initiatives are in full swing, with events taking place in Rome, Boston, Srinagar, and Cape Coral. In Peru, shamans performed an offering to “Pachamama” (Mother Earth) as part of a cleansing ritual to thank the Earth and promote planetary awareness.
In the United States, demonstrators in San Francisco called on California Governor Gavin Newsom to reduce the state’s reliance on fossil fuels, while the Climate Justice Alliance marched in Washington, D.C., advocating for an end to the fossil fuel era.
Earlier this week, U.S. President Joe Biden pledged to increase funding for developing countries to combat climate change and reduce deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest. Domestically, he announced new measures to protect communities disproportionately affected by pollution, including the establishment of a White House Office of Environmental Justice and a national strategy to prevent plastic pollution.
Despite the 2015 Paris Agreement’s goals to reduce global warming by transitioning away from fossil fuels, governments have struggled to fulfill their commitments amidst numerous crises. A report from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicates that the planet is on track to warm beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels between 2030 and 2035, resulting in even more devastating impacts.
The IPCC emphasizes the urgent need for action: “The choices and actions implemented in this decade will have impacts now and for thousands of years.”
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