Human Rights & Public Liberties

Human Rights & Public Liberties

Published on: 13 Jan, 2021

Global Earth Day

Published on: 22 April, 2021
This year's theme is ‘Restore the Earth’ with a focus on climate education/literacy/Reuters.

This year's theme is ‘Restore the Earth’ with a focus on climate education/literacy/Reuters.

Earth Day is marked around the world. This year, most of the events will be held virtually due to the COVID pandemic. Many major cities around the world are out-looking citizen clean-up events. It’s unclear whether rallies/marches will be held in major cities despite COVID fears.

This year’s theme is ‘Restore the Earth’ with a focus on climate education/literacy, to end plastic pollution, adopt more plant-based diets, preserve biodiversity, hold more citizen clean-up events, involve global citizens to collect and share research data via apps, and to plant more trees.

Young climate activists in Japan march in the capital, calling on policymakers to raise the target of greenhouse gas reduction. The White House is to host leaders from some of the world’s major economies, as part of a push to reassert U.S. leadership to get the globe’s biggest polluters to commit to greater reductions. The event will be a precursor to the COP meeting in Scotland in November, in which nations are expected to outline plans to begin drastically reducing emissions by the end of the decade.

President Biden is set to unveil new greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for the U.S. for the year 2030 under the Paris Climate Agreement, where the goal is to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Climate Action Tracker, an independent scientific group, said the U.S. needs to cut 57 percent to 63 percent by 2030 to meet Biden’s goal.

The European Union has pledged at least a 55 percent cut compared to 1990 levels, while the UK promised 68 percent.  Biden has pledged to set the U.S. on the path to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 with an interim target of decarbonizing the U.S. power sector by 2035. On April 9, Biden proposed $14 billion in spending on initiatives to fight climate change in the 2022 budget, including large cash injections for environmental regulation and science research. The proposal underscores the administration’s ambitions to decarbonize the economy by 2050, reversing a policy direction set by former President Trump to slash red tape that hindered fossil fuel production.

Biden has already signed more than a dozen executive orders related to climate change and has mobilized every federal agency to help shape the government’s response. But with a razor-thin Democratic party majority in the Senate, and the opposition of most U.S. oil, coal, and gas companies, new climate legislation is expected to be a tough ask.

John Kerry is leaning on Wall St in an appeal that the public sector alone cannot make the trillions of dollars of investment needed to curb rising emissions, especially in developing nations where investment decisions in electricity and transportation infrastructure will last decades. There are reports that Biden is considering issuing an executive order on climate finance at the summit to involve big business in tackling climate change.