“You only speak of a green eternal economic growth because you are too scared of being unpopular. You only talk about moving forward with the same bad ideas that got us into this mess. ”
Greta Thunberg’s speech at the COP24 plenary session (12 December 2018)
In this week’s blog, we want to talk with you about what the World Environment Day is! Why did the United Nations create it, what are the problems our Earth faces and what can we do to stop them! We will tell you all about this year’s UN initiative to stop Air Pollution as well as tell you about the moments that marked this year’s environment related events!
Take the Mask Challenge
This year, for World Environment Day, the United Nations objective is for people to take a stand and fight air pollution! With the “Take the mask Challenge”, with the #BeatAirPollution, they want to create awareness for the problems of Air pollution and its dangers.
According to the UN’s website, 9 out of 10 people breathe polluted air. Because of this, the UN decided to take a stand this year and asked everyone to participate in the World Environment Day challenge! From May 24, they call everybody to join this “Take the Mask challenge” and help bring awareness to air pollution!
Fridays for Future
On the 30th of November 2015, a movement started where a group of students invited students from all around the world to skip school during the 1st day of COP21, the UNFCCC Climate Conference in Paris. Over 100 countries organized a “Climate Strike” and more than 50 000 people participated!
Inspired by this, and other movements, was Greta Thunberg, a young teenage Swedish activist, that on the 20th of August 2018 skipped school until the Sweden general election on the 9th of September, after the heat waves and wildfires in Sweden. Her protest consisted in sitting outside the Riksdag during school hours with a sign saying “Skolstrejk för klimatet“ (“school strike for climate”).
After that, she announced that she would strike every Friday until Sweden accepted to reduce carbon emissions along with the Paris Agreement. Her slogan was Fridays For Future, which gained worldwide attention. She inspired school students across the world to take part in student strikes.
Greta Thunberg is a Swedish activist that, at the age of 15, began protesting the need for immediate response to climate change. After her strike in 2018 she became very famous and around 1.4 million students in 112 countries all over the globe joined her call in striking and protesting already.
Greta has already gained various prizes and awards for her activism and she has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize! She has also made the cover of Times magazine and her impact on the world is being called the Greta Thunberg effect.
Global Climate Strike for Future
So far, in this year of 2019, there has been 2 Global Climate Strikes for Future. The 1st happened on the 15th of March 2019 and the 2nd on the 24th of May 2019.
The school strikes had the intention to make adults take responsibility and stop the climate change. These strikes began happening in over 2000 cities worldwide, and apart from Antarctica (which has no schools) around 1.4 million students from around the world participated. These strikes came after Greta’s influence and impact on the life of these young pupils.
Celebrities’ impact on Environment Protection
Many times, we question what celebrities do with all their money and fame. We envy them for it, but we also judge them, saying they do not do enough with their influence. Maybe this is true for many, but there are some celebrities and famous people who use their voice to protect causes they believe in. This is the case of the following celebrities, that have made permanent efforts to help protect this planet we call home.
Leonardo DiCaprio created a foundation in 1998 that deems to protect Earth’s last wild places, by working on pressing environmental and humanitarian issues through grant making, campaigning, and media projects.
Also, Brad Pitt has founded the Make it Right nonprofit organization, that emphasizes the construction of houses that are sustainable and affordable. He has continuously met with politicians to discuss green housing policies.
Another famous actor that has made many efforts to protect the environment is Cate Blanchett! In 2010, she had solar panels installed on The Warf theater, in Sydney. Cate Blanchett also installed in the same theater one of the world’s largest rainwater collection systems! Moreover, in 2011, she stood up for a carbon tax plan that would limit greenhouse gas emissions.
Now that you are more familiar with those making efforts to protect the environment, you now know that anyone, big or small, can make a difference and send a message! Make sure to be one of those people and protect our world!
Celebrate World Environment Day with VocApp and participate in the changes you want to see made!
Written by Bárbara Marques