Celebrating Earth Day 2016

Last week the world celebrated Earth Day, a globally celebrated holiday on which millions of people around the globe gather up to demonstrate their support for environmental protection.

Image credit: jaymantri.com (CC)

Image credit: jaymantri.com (CC)

Founded by former US senator Gaylord Nelson after he saw the enormous 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, Earth Day is an annual event that is observed in nearly 200 countries through thousands of festivals and outdoor events, often with the support of global celebrities and political leaders.

The event, which takes place on 22 April each year, aims to encourage people across the world to be more environmentally friendly and give their personal contribution towards preserving the environment.

Since its launch nearly five decades ago, Earth Day has been supported by a number of A-list celebrities, including Leonardo DiCaprio and Emma Watson, to name a few.

Coordinated globally by the non-profit Earth Day Network, the day has its own flag – created by US peace activist John McConnell – as well as its own anthems – one of which is performed to the tune of Beethoven’s Ode To Joy, but with lyrics about protecting the planet.

This year’s Earth Day, which was celebrated by over one billion people, coincided with the signing of the historic Paris Agreement on climate change, which was adopted by consensus in the French capital last December.

According to the article on The Mirror, the agreement was signed by 130 countries and deposited at the United Nations in New York in an effort to get other countries to sign up to it.

The Paris agreement outlines a global action plan to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2C’.

However, in order for the deal to come into force, a formal approval is needed by at least 55 nations representing 55% of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, and in many countries, that needs a parliamentary vote.