Earth Day 2016

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Historic Signing Of the Paris Climate Agreement

April 22 marks the 46th anniversary of Earth Day—the day set aside to celebrate the Earth and learn more about the environment. Founded in 1970 and now celebrated worldwide in more than 193 countries, today's historic celebration will be highlighted by the signing of the landmark Paris Climate Agreement. Leaders from 160 countries including the United States and China will participate today.

The Paris meeting has been seen as a turning point in the "fight against climate change" and the strongest, most ambitious climate pact every negotiated. Citing innovation, allocation of capital and governmental support as being key factors in addressing climate change, pundits see a new energy future emerging. The agreement aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions quickly and to help every country to build a sustainable future for their citizens. It was adopted by consensus by the 195 nations present at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. World leaders have also agreed to keep global warning below 1.5 degrees Celcius. In addition, developed countries will provide $100 billion in public and private finances to help combat the effects of climate change in developing countries and to achieve this goal by 2020.

Many sources attribute the birth of the environmental movement to Earth Day founding celebrations in 1970. The first massive protest against environmental pollution took place in the same year. Today, some of the goals of the Earth Day organizers include massive tree planting with a target of 7.8 billion trees to be planted during the day's festivities. Organizers also acknowledge the importance of divesting from fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy and reducing carbon emissions through the use of sustainable transportation.

 

Simi Summer, Ph.D., is an organic advocate, independent researcher, educator, and freelance writer. She is a strong proponent of organic consumer education and informed consumer choices.

NOTE: The opinions expressed in bylined articles are not necessarily those of the publisher.

Posted on WholeFoods Magazine Online, 4/22/2016

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