World Environment Day
World Environment Day is celebrated across the world on 5th June every year. Since 1974, World Environment Day is the most remarkable day for environmental action. The UN Environment Program (UNEP) organizes events for Environment Day every year to encourage worldwide awareness and action for the protection of the environment.
Main objectives of World Environment day is to give a human face to environmental issues, empower people to become agents of sustainable and equitable development, promote a change in attitude towards the environment and advocate partnership between each human being and each society to ensure a safe future.
On World Environment day, we all take a day off from our work. And join various campaigns to spread awareness about environment protection. Moreover, we all plant small saplings in a barren land so that it may grow and flourish in the land area after some years. Also, we take part in various processions to make people aware of this day. So that they may also take part in protecting our environment.
Furthermore, in schools, the teachers teach the students the methods to plant a tree. The school provides buses to take the students to the jungles. There they come to know about the different types of plants. And the types of vegetation in which they survive. Also, the students have to bring a sapling from their homes and plant them inside the ground. This helps them in getting practical knowledge. Further, it also creates an emotional attachment to the environment. 2022
Host Country: Sweden Each year, World Environment Day is hosted by a different country in which official celebrations take place. The host country for 2022 is Sweden.
Only One Earth (Living Sustainably in Harmony with Nature)
World Environment Day 2022 will be celebrated on 5th June 2022 across the world with a theme ‘Only One Earth’. This theme indicates the need to live sustainably in harmony with nature by transformative changes in our policies and choices towards cleaner and greener lifestyles. It will focus on the need to live sustainably in harmony with nature, and our possibilities for shifting to a greener lifestyle through both policies and individual choices. Sustainability is based on the simple principle that everything that is essential for our survival depends on our natural environment. It creates and maintains an environment where humans and nature can co-exist in productive harmony.
Sustainable lifestyle is when one decides to imbibe the values and ideals of this statement in their daily lifestyle. In reality, the greatest threat to the planet is the belief of humans that someone else would save our environment and its diminishing resources and that an individual holds no capability, means or responsibility. The first step in getting rid of these problems is a sustainable lifestyle.
“Only One Earth” was the motto for the 1972 Stockholm Conference. 50 years on, the motto is as pertinent as ever – this planet is our only home, and humanity must safeguard its finite resources.
Our environment is one of the most important aspects to survive on this planet. Moreover, it is the only thing that can make life sustainable. Without it, we cannot survive even a single day. For instance, our skin will burn, the lungs will rupture, and our blood pressure will rise. Furthermore, we will not have food and water to survive. And this will also be possible because of the imbalance of heat and atmospheric pressure. Thus it is important that we should take care of the environment. Also, abandon all the exploitation that we are causing.
The Environment is in danger because of the high levels of pollution. All the major components of the Environment such as the hydrosphere, the atmosphere, the biosphere, all are trapped with pollutants. The rising level of pollutants is destroying the normal Environmental conditions. This type of pollutants can be natural (for example volcanic eruptions, forest fires etc) or manmade (pollutants released from industries, emissions from cars). It is mainly man made pollution that has caused rapid destruction of the Environment. The major forms of pollution are air pollution, water pollution and soil pollution.
Our planet can only produce a limited number of resources from food to water and can only cope with a handful of greenhouse gas emissions to stay healthy. We have only one earth and we are totally dependent on it for our existence and well being. It can produce only a limited number of resources but human beings today are making excessive use of natural resources and energy, generating waste which is not sustainable. This causes many environmental issues like pollution and climate change, which harm the environment, wildlife and humans.
Now we all know that the Earth is in grave danger. The conditions of human life, even the conditions of life itself, are in grave danger. In the nearly 4 billion-year history of life on Earth, there have been catastrophic mass extinctions along with past radical changes in climate. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) 2021 report says it is “clear” that human activity has warmed the atmosphere, oceans and land. He used the same term in his last major science assessment report in 2013. Eight years later, the IPPC says that without immediate and drastic reductions in emissions, the critical threshold of 2 °C warming will be exceeded and all life will be thrown into chaos, resulting in unimaginable destruction and suffering.
Greenhouse gases trap heat and make the planet warmer. Human activities are responsible for almost all of the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere over the last 150 years. The largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities in the United States is from burning fossil fuels for electricity, heat, and transportation.
Climate change is altering our planet, causing extreme weather events like tropical storms, wildfires, severe droughts and heat waves, negatively affecting crop production, causing disruption to animals’ natural habitats, and more. Because the emission of greenhouse gases is the main perpetrator that causes global warming (and therefore climate change), it’s important to understand how carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions affect the environment.
A carbon footprint is the total greenhouse gas emissions caused by an individual, event, organization, service, place or product, expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent. Greenhouse gases are the gases in the atmosphere that produce the “greenhouse effect” and contribute to global warming and climate change.
Causes for CO2 Emissions
Population growth and increase in consumption levels
One cause for the emission of CO2 is population growth. Since the world population increases, there is an increasing demand for material things. These things have to be produced by industries. In this production process, large amounts of CO2 are emitted into the air. Thus, population growth contributes to the emission of CO2 and the adverse consequences.
Increase in living standards
Not only does the total demand for goods increase due to population growth, it also increases due to the fact that people want to improve their lifestyle. This is especially true for people in emerging markets who now aspire to similar lifestyles like people living in the Western world. This implies a significant increase in individual consumption levels and also increases the carbon footprint since for the increased consumption, more products have to be manufactured which implies an increase in CO2 emissions.
Increase in energy consumption
Since our technology is dependent on electricity, electricity consumption levels have skyrocketed during the last decades. Although we benefit from many advantages from technological progress, an increase in electricity consumption also implies an increase of greenhouse gases since for the generation of electricity, large amounts of coal are used and CO2 is released into the air through the combustion process.
Deforestation can be regarded as another cause for the emission of CO2. Since trees are a natural storage space for CO2, cutting down forests leads to the release of large amounts of CO2 which in turn will contribute to the global warming problem in a serious way.
There are many companies that emit large quantities of CO2 in their production processes. Since there are no binding worldwide CO2 emission regulations that can be taken seriously at the moment, companies have a big incentive to meet the demand for goods without worrying about their carbon footprint too much since the fines for violations of limits are quite low or even non-existent.
Agriculture is another significant contributor to the emission of CO2. In the production of meat, plenty of CO2 and other greenhouse gases like methane are released into the air. This problem of CO2 emission related to meat production is likely to become even more severe in the future since many people that had been quite poor in the past, especially people in emerging markets, are now able to increase their income levels. With these rising income levels, people are likely to consume more material things and also increase their consumption of meat.
Many cars and other vehicles are based on the combustion of fossil fuels. In the combustion process, plenty of CO2 is released into the air. In our current Western society, almost everyone has at least one car. There are many households which even own two or more cars. Even for small distances, people often use cars instead of walking or riding a bike. This behavior is extremely harmful since it implies the emission of large amounts of CO2 and therefore significantly contributes to an increase in the carbon footprint.
Ships can also be regarded as a cause for the emission of CO2 and therefore as a contributor to carbon footprint. Many ships are used to carry large amounts of food and other goods over quite long distances. This shipping of goods over large distances leads to the emission of large amounts of CO2 since most of the ships are run by fossil fuels.
In order to get rid of the vast amounts of waste that are produced on a worldwide scale each year, large amounts of waste are burned. This combustion of waste also leads to an emission of harmful gases, including greenhouse gases like CO2. Due to population growth and increasing worldwide consumption levels, the emissions that are due to waste disposal are likely to increase in the future since the total amount of waste is likely to increase as well.
Effects of the Emission of CO2
One major effect of the excessive emission of CO2 is global warming. Global warming has severe negative effects on our environmental system and poses a danger to many animals, plants and also for many people who are at risk of losing their homes. Moreover, global warming may also lead to an increase in the migration problem since the livelihood of many people will be destroyed due to rising sea levels. These people will strive to find alternative living spaces and move to countries that are not that much affected by climate change. The emission of CO2 contributes to global warming to a significant extent since CO2 is a greenhouse gas.
Another effect related to the emission of CO2 is air pollution. Through industrial processes and also through our daily use of cars, we emit large amounts of harmful gases into the air, including CO2 which increases our carbon footprint.
Effects on aquatic life
Aquatic life can also be affected by CO2 emissions in a dramatic way. Since the emission of CO2 contributes to global warming, it poses big negative externalities to aquatic animals and plants. An increase in air temperature will also cause an increase in water temperatures. This will likely lead to a decrease in oxygen levels, which in turn may lead to the death of many fishes and other water animals. Moreover, with an increase in water temperature, the growth of algae is enhanced which in turn also leads to lower oxygen levels.
Solutions to the CO2 Emission Problem
CO2 emissions are a big problem for our environmental systems since they impose many negative effects on our planet. However, there are also several measures we can take in our daily life to mitigate the CO2 emission problem. Reducing carbon footprint is important because it mitigates the effects of global climate change, improves public health, boosts the global economy, and maintains biodiversity. Depending on our will to change our consumption behavior, we have the possibility to mitigate CO2 emissions to a significant extent and therefore to keep the related adverse effect to a minimum.
Switch from cars to alternative transport facilities
One measure in order to reduce CO2 emissions is to switch from private cars to public transport. Cars are a big source of CO2 emission and the emission of CO2 per capita is much higher compared to public transport. Even better would be a switch from cars to bicycles or other forms of transport that do not emit CO2 at all. Moreover, walking short distances instead of using cars would further mitigate the problem of CO2 emission and will therefore reduce the individual carbon footprint.
Switch from conventional to electric cars
Another measure against the excessive emission of carbon dioxide is to switch from conventional to electric cars. There is still much work in progress related to the development of electric cars. However, in the near future, they may display a good alternative to conventional cars. By switching to electric cars, we could reduce the emission of CO2 to a large extent and therefore also mitigate the implied adverse consequences.
Another step to reduce CO2 emissions is to save energy whenever possible. This could mean turning off the lights when you don’t need them. It may also include buying energy-efficient household devices instead of energy-intensive ones. Saving energy mitigates the problem of CO2 emissions since for electricity production, significant amounts of coal have to be burnt which in turn leads to the emission of harmful gases, including CO2. Therefore, by taking measures in our daily life, we can effectively contribute to mitigating the CO2 emission issue.
Buy local food
Long transportation distances contribute to the CO2 emission problem since food and other items are transported by plane, ships or trucks that use fossil fuels. By avoiding long transportation distances for food and buying local food instead, we can mitigate the problem of CO2 emission and the resulting adverse consequences to a certain extent.
Organic gardening may also reduce the production of CO2 to a certain extent. By planting your own vegetables or fruits, you can avoid the transportation of foods from remote parts of the word and therefore also save the CO2 that would have been produced in those transportation processes.
Recycle and reuse
It’s also important to reuse items you no longer need. This can mean giving such things to family members or friends. You should at least make sure that you segregate your waste in such a way that those items can be recycled in an efficient manner.
It is important to educate people about the environment. We have to show people how harmful CO2 emissions really are for our environment. This includes educating people about how their consumption behavior affects CO2 emissions. By showing people how they can reduce CO2 emissions in an efficient way, more people will be more likely to do so. This education should begin at an early age in school. People are usually ready to change their behavior at a young age, rather than one that they have already grown up with. By educating young children about how to reduce our CO2 emissions, these children are also likely to convince their parents, leading to a situation in which parents try to reduce their CO2 emissions by reducing their consumption. Will be more willing to change behavior and have adverse consequences.