Celebrating the 50th Earth Day

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This year's theme: Climate Action

On 22nd of April we celebrate the 50th Earth Day and Climate Action is this year's theme. Our health and our wellbeing is closely interlinked with the health of our planet. Today, both are in danger. Fighting the climate crisis requires determined and persistent action on many fronts. However, the solutions are many and action on the ground demonstrates that we may still have a chance to stop the worst crisis from hitting us – especially the most vulnerable among us - in the coming years. The EESC’s Sustainable Development Observatory joins the #VoiceforthePlanet campaign to give the Earth more than one deep breath. We have no Planet B. Let's act together to preserve it! 

We depend on nature

This year more than any other gives us an unprecedented opportunity to pause and think what it means to us. The current COVID-19 crisis affects millions of people in many different ways.  Our thoughts are with those who suffer its dramatic effects, as well as those who heroically face it on the frontlines.

In the meantime, most of us in Europe are confined in their homes. As we isolate socially, we tend to notice the lack of human contact, but also the lack of contact with nature surrounding us. The spring unfolds behind our windows, with blue skies and lush, fresh greenery. It brings a powerful relief to the surrealism of a lockdown. Perhaps having a balcony, a garden or a park nearby has made some of us feel a little better in the last weeks. It made us realise how much we need nature. How much we need to feel connected to it. How it revitalises and nourishes us. 

As individual human beings, we depend on nature. Our societies and our economy cannot function without it. Yet, we have not done right by it. We have overexploited its resources and undermined its biodiversity, thus threatening our own survival. Today, bound by the measures enforced in the face of a health crisis, we left our cars on the driveways, cancelled our holiday trips, and stopped our factories. The Planet Earth is unexpectedly taking a deep breath. Naturally, when we move away from the peak of the pandemics and progressively advance with de-confinement, our activity will drive emissions upwards and pollute our environment again. As much as we all want this crisis to be behind us, what is the vision of the global recovery we would like to uphold?