KOLKATA, India – In April, more than one billion people in 192 countries will take action to protect our shared environment. All across the globe, from big cities to small villages, people are organizing, demanding climate action, cleaning up their local communities, meeting with their elected officials, planting trees, and teaching their children to protect our planet.
In a rare and special event, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has invited every world leader to the United Nations to officially sign the Paris Climate Agreement reached this past December. It is no coincidence that the agreement is being opened for signatures on April 22nd, Earth Day.
“Earth Day is the largest, most recognizable face of the environmental movement,” said Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day Network. “Millions of people in dozens of different countries will become lifelong environmentalists this Earth Day. Hundreds of thousands will be children – our planet’s future. They will join the more than 1 billion people who already use Earth Day to focus on the urgent need to stabilize and reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change.”
This year Earth Day Network is focusing on planting new trees and forests worldwide. As we begin the countdown to Earth Day’s 50th anniversary in 2020, EDN is pledging to plant 7.8 billion trees worldwide – one for every person on Earth! That’s ambitious, but this down-payment must be made in order to combat climate change and keep our most vulnerable eco-systems from facing extinction.
As in past years, Earth Day will be commemorated widely in India, said Karuna Singh, country director for India.
“We have no higher priority this year than to make sure the United States, China, India, the EU, and all the largest CO2 emitters sign the Paris Agreement to prove that what happened in Paris was not all talk. Signing the Paris Agreement this Earth Day at the United Nations is just the beginning,” Rogers said. “That, coupled with our global activities, will make this the largest, most significant Earth Day in years and a perfect start in our countdown to Earth Day 2020, our 50th!”