Today is World Environment Day (WED), one of the principle ways in which the UN stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action.
This year’s theme is Green Economy: Does it include You? Basically, what the UN means by Green Economy are the overall efforts of nations to reduce carbon emission and pollution, to enhance energy and resource efficiency, and to prevent the loss of biodiversity. According to the UN Environment Program, Green Economy both significantly lowers environmental risks and improves human well-being and social equity. This years theme, therefore, aims to encourage people to find out more about Green Technology and about the various different ways in which they are already included, and the ways in which they can participate further. The official WED website is pledging people to “help break the record for the greatest number of activities registered in WED’s four decade history.”
This year’s host country for World Environment Day is Brazil. Brazil previously hosted WED in 1992 in the first Earth Summit, when world leaders first met to discuss our world and ideas of sustainable development. Many see it as a politically significant step that Brazil, one of the fastest growing economies in the world, hosts the World Environment Day, because the economy and economic growth are often prioritised over the environment. Many hope, therefore, that this year’s Environment Day will bring the environment and the economy together.
Later on in the month, from June 20th-22nd, Brazil will host a Rio+20 Summit in Rio de Janeiro. This year, the UN is particularly desperately expecting results from the summit because of the multitude of crisis the world has experienced in the recent years. The WED website lists the crisis as following: “a global financial crisis, a food crisis, volatile oil prices, accelerating ecosystem degradation and an increasing number of climate-induced extreme weather events.” The conclusions are that these crisis are inter-related, and “call into question the ability of a growing human population to live peacefully and sustainably on this planet, and demand the urgent attention governments and citizens around the world.”
Lets all celebrate Green Economy and hope that together through events like World Environment Day we can find the right sustainable solutions.