Earth Day has been marked on 22 April every year since its inception in 1970
Marked by millions around the world, Earth Day is an annual event designed to shine a light on the serious environmental problems we’re facing, from the climate crisis, to air pollution and deforestation.
The original Earth Day was founded by US senator and environmentalist Gaylord Nelson in 1970, to highlight the importance of fresh air and clean water, following a 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California.
As the climate crisis becomes ever more serious, each Earth Day that comes along takes on extra significance. The annual event brings together millions of people from around the world, in support of the environment, highlighting the urgent action we need to take to save our planet.
In fact, figures show that global CO2 emissions are now back at above pre-pandemic levels, despite all the talk of “nature healing” when countries around the world went into Lockdown. Considering that we need to dramatically cut emissions by an estimated 45 percent by 2030, to keep global warming to 1.5°C, the magnitude of the challenge we’re facing is not clear.
Fittingly, this year’s theme is Restore Our Earth, which focuses not only on the need to reduce our impact on the planet as we recover from the effects of Covid-19, but also how we can play a role in repairing the damage we’ve done.
There are thousands of events taking place, both online and in person (within local Covid-19 restrictions) — find out what’s happening near you via this map. Organisers have also produced a handy toolkit to help you get involved, whether that’s organising a teach-in to educate people on the challenges we’re facing, or a clean-up, considering the increased pollution we’ve seen from single-use masks and gloves during the pandemic.
Tune in on April 22 at 12PM GMT and stream the event live on Facebook, earthday.org/earth-day-2021/, Twitter, Twitch, YouTube, and GEM-TV.