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Investing in our Planet: Earth Day 2022 sounds the alarm

A call to the economic and financial world, but also citizens, to invest in solutions that protect the environment and, with it, present and future human life.

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Investing in our Planet. This was the theme of this year’s Earth Day. The title is more a warning, a call, perhaps one of the last, to the economic and financial world, but also to citizens to invest in solutions that protect not only the environment but human life, security on this planet, and prosperity for future generations linked to nature and its precious resources.

What is Earth Day?

Earth Day is the largest environmental event on the planet, the only time when all the citizens of the world come together to celebrate the Earth and promote its preservation. Earth Day involves up to one billion people each year in 192 countries around the world. The United Nations celebrates Earth Day every year, one month and two days after the spring equinox, on 22 April. Established on 22 April 1970 to highlight the need for conservation of the Earth’s natural resources, Earth Day has become an educational and informative event. Ecological groups use it as an opportunity to assess the planet’s problems: the pollution of air, water, and soil, the destruction of ecosystems, the thousands of plants and animal species that are disappearing, and the depletion of non-renewable resources. It insists on solutions to eliminate the negative effects of human activities; these solutions include recycling materials, conserving natural resources such as oil and fossil gases, banning the use of harmful chemicals, halting the destruction of key habitats such as wetlands, and protecting endangered species. The idea of creating an ‘Earth Day’ was first discussed in 1962, but Earth Day finally took shape in 1969 following the environmental disaster caused by the Union Oi oil spill off Santa Barbara, California, after which Senator Nelson decided it was time to bring environmental issues to the attention of the public and the political world. “All people, regardless of their ethnicity, gender, income or geographic location, have the right to a healthy, balanced and sustainable environment”. On 22 April 1970, inspired by this principle, 20 million American citizens mobilized for a demonstration in defense of the Earth.

Many actions take place on Earth Day and many partners are coordinated globally by the non-profit network We went to see some of these events.

In Italy

Earth Day Italia is the main Italian partner of the international network and for this edition has organized, together with the Focolare Movement, the third edition of #OnePeopleOnePlanet – the Multimedia Marathon with 14 hours of live streaming on the digital channel Railay.

Also in Italy, the traditional Earth Day Italy Concert for the Earth was hosted by the Fuksas Cloud in the Eur district of Rome, where a unique show conceived by Tiziana Tuccillo, coordinator of the artistic and cultural committee of Earth Day, and entrusted to the artistic direction of internationally renowned composer Maestro Giovanni Allevi, took place. A concert that the Maestro wanted to dedicate once again to the new generations given the 27th UN Climate Conference, which this year will be held in Egypt from 7 to 18 November in the splendid natural paradise of Sharm el sheik.


The European Union

The European Union has relaunched the #BeTheWave campaign, an international campaign that brings together people from all over the world to create a global heartbeat. The message is “that we need to wake up before it’s too late!”.

“It’s not too late. According to scientists, human action can change the course of events. Immediate, rapid, and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and the achievement of net CO2 emissions have the potential to limit climate change and its effects,” the EU Commission documents. The #BeTheWave campaign aims to raise awareness of the state of the planet and the urgency to act. The campaign invites everyone to help create a global heartbeat, “the heartbeat of the Earth”, by recording and publishing their heartbeat by clapping their hands, beating drums, or turning any noise into a heartbeat.

“The Earth, our home, is in critical condition,” the EU wrote. “The temperature on Earth will rise by 2.7 degrees this century, even if we reach our 2030 climate target, affecting food supplies, lives, and livelihoods. Higher temperatures cause more intense and extreme weather events. Natural disasters are three times more frequent than 50 years ago and cause more than 60,000 deaths per year. An estimated 9 million people, including nearly 2 million children under five, die each year due to environmental factors such as pollution. One in three people has no access to clean water. By 2050, up to 5.7 billion people could live in areas where water is scarce for at least one month a year. In the last 20 years, plastic waste in the sea has increased by 49%, killing thousands of marine animals every year. Sixty percent of the world’s ecosystems are degraded, destroyed by the overuse of natural resources,” the EU executive documents.

In the UK

In the UK, the BBC has announced a series of initiatives across radio, TV, and digital services to help everyone make better choices for the planet and to support those making a difference in our environment.

Radio 2, The One Show, BBC Sport, Morning Live, digital, children’s programs including Blue Peter, Go Jetters, and Hey Duggee, and more are all dedicating programming and initiatives this April and May and beyond, highlighting the changes we can all make to make a positive difference to the environment.

This includes Go Green, a collaboration between Radio 2 and The One Show that features social action content exploring how we can live greener, more sustainable lives and meet those across the UK who are using their voices for positive environmental change. The Regenerators – an environmental initiative of BBC Bitesize – launches The Regenerators Hall of Fame, featuring young climate champions from across the UK.

BBC Sport, in partnership with the Sports Positive Summit, celebrated individuals and organizations from around the world who are actively contributing to a more sustainable future through their sporting profiles and practices this October.

And both BBC iPlayer and BBC Sounds already have extensive collections under the BBC Our Planet Now brand, curated to showcase the best of the BBC’s environmental content.

Widening the lens and going after other initiatives too, we found.

The YouTube initiative: ‘Non-Fungible Planet’. Where non-fungible is something unique, irreplaceable, and not interchangeable. Which, according to the video-sharing platform, is exactly like our planet. To celebrate Earth Day, YouTube has teamed up with 15 content creators and many different organizations to explore unique places around the world and show how incredibly rare and unique our planet is.

BMW’s initiative: ‘The future finds us’. To celebrate Earth Day, BMW North America and creative agency partner FCB NY have launched a new campaign featuring its all-electric car.
New York City Climate Clock: New York City’s famous climate clock is changing its countdown, opting instead for messages of support for communities that have experienced climate-related disasters.
Wherefrom: ‘Stop Wash’. The sustainability review platform has launched the ‘Stop Wash’ campaign which aims to remind retailers that green slogans alone will not save the planet. An action, therefore, against ‘greenwashing’.

The film by director and activist Salma Zulfiqar: ‘The Migration Blanket: Climate Solidarity’. ‘The Migration Blanket: Climate Solidarity’ is the sequel to human rights activist Salma Zulfiqar’s award-winning film ‘In Solidarity: The Migration Blanket’, which won the award for Best Animated Short Film at the 2021 Berlin Independent Film Festival. The new film will be presented at the Venice Biennale on 23 April and tells the story of how climate change is destroying women’s lives. It presents stories of women who have fled danger from all over the world.

The Palau Legacy Project has launched a new campaign to educate people to respect the country’s environment and local culture. Created by Host/Havas, the project offers reward points to people who attempt to offset their carbon footprint using a personal carbon calculator, use reef-safe sunscreen, and frequent businesses that are reducing their environmental impact.

In conclusion

There have been so many initiatives, at every level, involving over a billion people.

“We need to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century to keep the global temperature below 1.5°C. Discover some key solutions that will help us achieve the greenhouse gas reductions needed by 2030 to meet the Paris Agreement,” Earth Day portals read. And it must be done “All TOGETHER now!”.

Now is the time to change everything, the business climate, the political climate, and the way we act on climate. Now is the time for unstoppable courage to preserve and protect our health, our families, our livelihoods… together, we must Invest in our planet. Because a green future is a prosperous future.

Giulia Torbidoni – PFE