Theme: Restore Our Earth
Google Doodle video encourages everyone to plant seeds for a brighter future
About Earth Day:
- Earth Day is an annual event on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection.
- It First held on April 22, 1970
- It now includes a wide range of events coordinated globally by EARTHDAY.ORG (formerly Earth Day Network) including 1 billion people in more than 193 countries.
- In 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco, peace activist John McConnell proposed a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace, to first be observed on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. This day of nature’s equipoise was later sanctioned in a proclamation written by McConnell and signed by Secretary General U Thant at the United Nations.
- A month later a United States Senator Gaylord Nelson proposed the idea to hold a nationwide environmental teach-in on April 22, 1970. He hired a young activist, Denis Hayes, to be the National Coordinator. Nelson and Hayes renamed the event “Earth Day”. The first Earth Day was focused on the United States. In 1990, Denis Hayes, the original national coordinator in 1970, took it international and organized events in 141 nations.
- On Earth Day 2016, the landmark Paris Agreement was signed by the United States, China, and some 120 other countries. This signing satisfied a key requirement for the entry into force of the historic draft climate protection treaty adopted by consensus of the 195 nations present at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.
History of Earth Day:
- Earth Day was a unified response to an environment in crisis — oil spills, smog, rivers so polluted they literally caught fire.
- On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans — 10% of the U.S. population at the time — took to the streets, college campuses and hundreds of cities to protest environmental ignorance and demand a new way forward for our planet.
- The first Earth Day is credited with launching the modern environmental movement, and is now recognized as the planet’s largest civic event
Result of the first Earth Day:
- The first Earth Day in 1970 launched a wave of action, including the passage of landmark environmental laws in the United States.
- The Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts were created in response to the first Earth Day in 1970, as well as the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Many countries soon adopted similar laws.
- Earth Day continues to hold major international significance: In 2016, the United Nations chose Earth Day as the day when the historic Paris Agreement on climate change was signed into force.
- It is celebrated to remind each of us that the Earth and its ecosystems provide us with life and sustenance.
- This Day also recognizes a collective responsibility, as called for in the 1992 Rio Declaration, to promote harmony with nature and the Earth to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations of humanity.
- This day provides an opportunity to raise public awareness around the world to the challenges regarding the well-being of the planet and all the life it supports.
- This year, Earth Day focuses on putting an end to plastic use and thereby reducing pollution. According to Earth Day Network, Earth Day 2018 will focus on fundamentally changing human attitude and behaviour about plastics and catalyzing a significant reduction in plastic pollution.
Indian policies to keep up with:
- National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC)
- National offshore wind-energy policy
- National Bio-fuel policy
- International Solar Alliance (ISA)
- The Clean Development Mechanism projects in India
- State Action Plans on Climate Change
- Coal Cess and the National Clean Energy Fund
- FAME Scheme for E-mobility
- Atal Mission for Rejuvenation & Urban Transformation (AMRUT) for Smart Cities.
- Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
- UJALA scheme
- Swachh Bharat Mission
- National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change
- Ratifying Paris Agreement
The 21st Conference of Parties (COP 21) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) successfully concluded in Paris after intense negotiations by the Parties followed by the adoption of the Paris Agreement on post-2020 actions on climate change. India ratified the same and is actively working towards the goals.
- Tackling Climate Change
To reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 percent by 2030 from 2005 level. To achieve about 40 percent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources by 2030, with the help of transfer of technology and low-cost international finance, including from Green Climate Fund. To create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.
- Clean Fuel
India introduces BS-VI petrol and diesel. Delhi will be the first city to leapfrog from BS-IV to BS-VI. 13 major cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, etc. will make the shift from 1st Jan 2019. The rest of the country will make the change from April 2020 next year.
- No Plastics
India has pledged to eliminate all single-use plastic in the country by 2022.
Source: The Hindu
Check: Sustainable Development Goal