LONDONERS are among the estimated one billion people in more than 190 countries taking part in events to mark Earth Day 2013 today.
Themed ‘The Face of Climate Change’, everything from tree-planting and neighbourhood clean-ups to educational conferences and the promotion of low-energy transport alternatives will be taking place.
Just last week a small majority of MEPs voted against measures designed to fix the EU’s mechanism to rescue industrial greenhouse gas emissions – incredible, really, in the face of the clear public support for action on climate change we are witnessing today!
With international agreements to limit global average temperature rises to 2 degrees centigrade seeming ever less likely to succeed, greenhouse gas emissions steadily rising worldwide, and climate chaos already engulfing much of the world – and hitting the poorest hardest – it’s never been more urgent to spread the word about the need to tackle climate change, before it’s too late.
Earth Day has taken place every April 22nd since 1970, seeking to raise awareness and offer some practical solutions to the many environmental crises we face.
And even though some 20 million people took part in the first, more than 40 years ago, it keeps getting bigger and bigger: organised by the US-based Earth Day network it has become truly global, with participants hosting events from New Delhi to New York, Rome to Rio do Janeiro and London to La Paz.
So whatever you’re doing to mark the occasion, whether it’s as significant as installing solar panels on your roof, or something smaller, like taking the bus instead of driving to work, you are part of an important global movement- and I hope all your efforts will all add up to helping create a fairer, greener future for all of us – and the fragile Earth we inhabit.
Jean Lambert MEP (Green Party, London)
22nd April, 2013