World Environment Day on 5 June is the biggest international day for the environment. Led by the United Nations Environment Programme (ENEP) and held annually since 1974, the event has grown to be the largest global platform for environmental outreach, with millions of people from across the world engaging to protect the planet (United Nations, 2022).
Sweden is hosting World Environment Day 2022 and will also host Stockholm+50 from 2 to 3 June. Stochkolm+50 marks the 50th anniversary of the first United Nations (UN) Conference on the Human Environment, held in Stockholm in 1972. This event put sustainable development on the global agenda and led to the establishment of World Environment Day (United Nations, 2022).
The Campaign – #onlyoneearth
“Only One Earth” was the original slogan used at the first Stockholm Conference in 1972 (United Nations, 2022). World Environment Day 2022 is re-energising the slogan to emphasise that planet Earth is still the only liveable planet we have and to push for transformative actions to recalibrate the balance between people and the natural world in a way that will create a better world for all inhabitants on Earth.
The campaign invites everyone to celebrate our Earth through the collective commitment to action to address one or more aspects of the triple planetary emergency:
- Climate change,
- Biodiversity and nature loss,
- Pollution and waste.
Beyond what individuals can do, governments and businesses are best placed to leverage the power and finance needed to put in place the policies and infrastructures for sustainable living (United Nations, 2022).
Over 150 countries are participating, and the UN will engage governments, businesses, civil society, schools, celebrities, cities and communities to raise awareness and celebrate environmental action (United Nations, 2022).
Why Does Action Need to be Taken?
Human beings are using the equivalent of 1.6 Earths to maintain our current way of life, and ecosystems cannot keep up with our demands. (United Nations Environment Programme, 2022). Science shows that these interlinked crises are the result of our unsustainable use and management of the planet’s resources.
Our demand for resources outstrips the Earth’s capacity to provide them by an estimated 75 per cent; people significantly impact nearly three-quarters of ice-free land and two-thirds of the oceans; and greenhouse gas emissions must be halved in the next eight years to keep global warming below 1.5oC (United Nations Environment Programme, 2022).
There is new evidence that households are associated with two-thirds of all greenhouse gas emissions, and the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report shows that sustainable lifestyles and behaviours could reduce our emissions by 40–70 per cent by 2050 (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2022).
Committing to Action on World Environment Day
The UN is encouraging individuals and organisations globally to commit to taking environmental action by using “Earth Action Numbers” to highlight their activities and then posting these on their social media channels and the UN online world map to inspire others to take action for World Environment Day.
Taking part in “Earth Action Numbers” is simple, and below is how to join in 3 easy steps.
1 – Decide the action you want to share and write your post as two points that each start with a number as per the following examples:
|2 million dollars of pension funds divested from fossil fuels. 1 company.
|60 bags of collected rubbish. 30 primary school students cleaning our river.
|5 people in our family home. 1 renewable energy provider powering it.
2 – Put your action on the UN world map. Go to https://action.worldenvironmentday.global/, log your action and get a downloadable social media card you can share with your followers.
3 – Take a photo or record a short video showing the earth action you are taking. Then post it on your social media channels. Include your two Earth Action Numbers, and add #OnlyOneEarth and #WorldEnvironmentDay to the final line, like this example:
1,235 kWh of solar energy.
10 electric buses in our city.
#OnlyOneEarth #WorldEnvironmentDay @UNEP
At Integrate Sustainability our employees will collect at least 8 bags of rubbish from their local environment.
A detailed and practical guide for taking action, as well as further examples for organisations, governments and individuals, can be found on the World Environment Day website.
To find out more about World Environment Day visit https://www.worldenvironmentday.global/.
If your organisation would like to learn more about incorporating sustainability into your projects, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 08 9468 0338.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (2022). Climate Change 2022 – Mitigation of Climate Change. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Retrieved from https://report.ipcc.ch/ar6wg3/pdf/IPCC_AR6_WGIII_FinalDraft_FullReport.pdf
United Nations. (2022, May 24). Facts and Figures. Retrieved from World Environment Day: https://www.worldenvironmentday.global/did-you-know/facts-figures
United Nations Environment Programme. (2022, May 24). Practical Guide. Retrieved from World Environment Day: https://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/40017/WED2022.pdf?sequence=3&isAllowed=y