The Green Party of Canada celebrates the UN’s World Environment Day (WED) today along with nations and citizens around the globe. Founded in 1972, this annual event is designed to promote positive environmental action among governments and individuals alike. It is now one of the main mechanisms the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) uses to expand environmental attention and awareness, and inspire individuals and their political representatives to think and go green. WED promotes actions such as neighborhood clean-ups, switching from plastic bags to reusables and getting friends and family to do the same, ending food waste, walking to work, and much more. As the UN notes “the possibilities are endless” and the agency would like you to post your activities on its website.
This is also a day when we must, more than ever, raise our voices and our concerns about the future of the planet. Just weeks ago, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere exceeded 400 parts per million. This is the highest concentration of CO2 in approximately three million years. At that time, the planet was at least 2-3 degrees warmer and sea levels were 25 metres higher. For this reason, scientists have been defining 400 ppm as a frightening and dangerous turning point for the planet – and those living on it. Therefore, although the Green Party is happy to mark UN World Environment Day, we think every day can and must be used to make our planet more sustainable. The time is now.