Today marks the 50th Earth Day, a date that, every year since 1970, reminds us of the need to respect the entire ecosystem in which we live. At a time when humanity is experiencing an unprecedented challenge due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 theme focuses on climate challenges and preparing for a more sustainable return to normality.
This year, and taking into account the current challenges in hand, the organization responsible for Earth Day wants to create the largest online movement in defense of our planet. The goal is to generate a huge wave of digital mobilization for 24 hours, remembering that, regardless of where we are, we can all make a difference: even on social networks.
Earth Day Live 2020 is one of the featured events and meets on a digital stage activists, as well as public figures and politicians, for a wide range of discussions, performances and informative sessions on what is being done around the world to respond to the challenges climatic.
It is true that, to contain the spread of COVID-19, the vast majority of the population is complying with the isolation measures implemented by governments around the world. However, even at home, it is possible to take some steps to help protect the Earth. Thus, the Earth Day website launches everyone a 24-hour action challenge, with several proposals that can be made from home and with the help of the Earth Challenge 2020 application, for Android and iOS.
What to do in the 24 hours of Earth Day 2020?
Protect the Earth and prepare for the future with wisdom and courage
In Portugal, ZERO – Associação Terrestre Sustentável stresses that, even in the face of the challenges facing humanity, it is necessary to act with wisdom and courage. To overcome the crisis, it is necessary to join efforts around the transformation of socioeconomic models, keeping the focus on people's well-being and establishing a balanced relationship and respect for the limits of the planet.
The association prepared a document with proposals that aim to support and help the transition, which will be shared with the Portuguese Government, with the President of the Republic, with the different Parliamentary Groups and with the national representatives in the European Parliament. In all, the proposals are concentrated around 10 major lines of work focused on sustainability.
What does ZERO propose on Earth Day 2020?
- Ensure that there is a concerted, cohesive and coherent strategy with a medium / long-term vision towards sustainability, based on the fulfillment of the objectives of the European Ecological Pact, including the most ambitious emission reduction commitments for 2030 and carbon neutrality for 2050.
- Support must be provided with conditions in terms of sustainable development and should preferably be used to: strengthen the health sector, making it more resilient to crises; to promote the well-being of all; and to protect the income of workers and small and medium-sized companies.
- Focus on investments in areas that promote structural transformation. Highlighted, for example, is the creation of jobs in the digital component, the bet on sustainable mobility, the reduction of energy poverty, the widespread use of renewable energies and the promotion of projects and legislation that make it possible to increase the use of reusable materials and reduce the production of waste.
- Use public procurement, whether at central or municipal level, as an investment and incentive engine for companies to offer sustainable products and services.
- The implementation of legislation should never be questioned or made more flexible.
- Regulate so that products placed on the market are sustainable.
- Betting on training for a fair transition, empowering workers, decision makers in different contexts, teachers and students of higher education and the public administration itself, to be able to act and work in a world in transition.
- Promote a new approach to international trade, avoiding promoting the transport of goods over long distances and favoring trade within and between EU countries.
- Challenge universities to integrate sustainability in their curricula, in order to form citizens prepared to face the complex challenges facing humanity.
- Adopt new indicators to assess the evolution of countries towards sustainability beyond GDP.