Earth Day, an international event celebrated around the world to pledge support for environmental protection, is also marked in Greece every April 22nd.
New trees were planted in Athens while the US Ambassador in Athens hailed Greece’s commitment to the climate change agenda.
On Wednesday, the mayor of Athens led a group of volunteers planting trees in the capital’s neighborhoods.
“For tomorrow’s World Earth Day, we are sending a message with action. We are planting new trees in Elena Venizelou Square. And we do not stop here. In all municipal communities, we are planting the 400 trees offered to us by @we4all_official. We thank this organization for joining forces with the Municipality of Athens,” Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis posted.
US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt remarked on Earth Day that the U.S. is “enthusiastic to support Prime Minister Mitsotakis’ ambitious climate change agenda, in particular his commitment to the phase-out of all coal-fired power by 2028, if not before.
“This is exactly the kind of ambitious goal-setting that the U.S. government’s Climate Envoy, former Secretary of State John Kerry, is calling on all of us to commit to. It’s the only way we’re going to stop the problem of climate change and build the cleaner future that we and future generations deserve,” Pyatt said.
“I’m very excited about the commitment that President Biden’s administration has made to working with the rest of the international community, and especially proud to be working on these issues here in Greece, where we have such strong and ambitious partners,” the American diplomat added.
Pyatt was referring to the Greek government’s announcement on September 2019 that it aims to shut down all of its lignite-fired power plants by 2028.
The announcement was made during the PM’s speech at the UN Climate Summit.
”Our goal is to shut down all lignite-run electricity production units by 2028, and we plan to ban all single-use plastics throughout Greece by 2021,” the Greek premier declared on the stage of the climate summit.
UN marks Earth Day
“Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is a chance to set the world on a cleaner, greener, more sustainable path,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres in a statement.
“Mother Earth is clearly urging a call to action. Let’s remind more than ever on this International Mother Earth Day that we need a shift to a more sustainable economy that works for both people and the planet”.
Earth Day was first observed in 1970, when 20 million took to the streets to protest against environmental degradation. The event was triggered by the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill, as well as other issues such as smog and polluted rivers.
For over the next half century, Earth Day continued to play an important role in environmental activism.
The landmark Paris Agreement, which brings almost 200 countries together in setting a common target to reduce global greenhouse emissions, was signed on Earth Day 2016.
According to earthday.org, Earth Day aims to “build the world’s largest environmental movement to drive transformative change for people and the planet.” The movement’s mission is “to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide.”
Earth Day 2021 devoted to green technologies
According to earthday.org, this year’s theme focuses on natural processes, emerging green technologies, and innovative thinking that can restore the world’s ecosystems.
“In this way, the theme rejects the notion that mitigation or adaptation are the only ways to address climate change. It is up to each and every one of us to Restore Our Earth not just because we care about the natural world, but because we live on it.
We all need a healthy Earth to support our jobs, livelihoods, health & survival, and happiness. A healthy planet is not an option — it is a necessity,” it says.
This year, seven major climate-related events are taking place in parallel on April 22, including the Leaders’ Summit on Climate hosted by the United States, and the Exponential Climate action Summit on Financing the Race to Zero emissions.