WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY, 2008 IS BEING OBSERVED ON 5TH JUNE . THIS YEAR WE PLEDGE TO MOVE BEYOND TOKENISM AND MEDIA GLITZ AND CREATE REAL AWARENESS ABOUT THE DAMAGE OUR ACTIONS ARE CAUSING TO THIS LOVELY PLANET. LETS PLEDGE TO MAKE AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE AWARE OF THE ACTION WE HAVE TO UNDERTAKE TO SAVE OUR LIVES BY SAVING MOTHER EARTH.GREEN HOPES PLEDGES TO ACT.
Kick the habit is 2008 WED message. Credits: UNEP.
MESSAGE OF MR. BAN KI MOON , SECRETARY GENERAL UNITED NATIONS
U N I T E D N A T I O N S N A T I O N S -U N I E S
MESSAGE FOR WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY 2008
KICK THE CARBON HABIT
Addiction is a terrible thing. It consumes and controls us, makes us deny
important truths and blinds us to the consequences of our actions. Our world is in the
grip of a dangerous carbon habit.Coal and oil paved the way for the developed world’s industrial progress. Fast-developing countries are now taking the same path in search of equal living standards.Meanwhile, in the least developed countries, even less sustainable energy sources, such as charcoal, remain the only available option for the poor.
Our dependence on carbon-based energy has caused a significant build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Last year, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change put the final nail in the coffin of global warming sceptics. We know that climate change is happening, and we know that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that we emit are the cause.
We don’t just burn carbon in the form of fossil fuels. Throughout the tropics, valuable forests are being felled for timber and making paper, for pasture and arable land and, increasingly, for plantations to supply a growing demand for biofuels. This further manifestation of our carbon habit not only releases vast amounts of CO2; it also destroys a valuable resource for absorbing atmospheric carbon, further contributing to climate change.
The environmental, economic and political implications of global warming are profound. Ecosystems — from mountain to ocean, from the Poles to the tropics — are undergoing rapid change. Low-lying cities face inundation, fertile lands are turning to desert, and weather patterns are becoming ever more unpredictable.
The cost will be borne by all. The poor will be hardest hit by weather-related disasters and by soaring price inflation for staple foods, but even the richest nations face the prospect of economic recession and a world in conflict over diminishing resources.
Mitigating climate change, eradicating poverty and promoting economic and political stability all demand the same solution: we must kick the carbon habit. This is the theme for World Environment Day 2008. “Kick the Habit: Towards a Low Carbon Economy” ,recognizes the damaging extent of our addiction, and it shows the way forward. Often we need a crisis to wake us to reality. With the climate crisis upon us, businesses and governments are realizing that, far from costing the Earth, addressing global warming can actually save money and invigorate economies. While the estimated costs of climate change are incalculable, the price tag for fighting it may be less than anyof us may have thought. Some estimates put the cost at less than one per cent of global gross domestic product — a cheap price indeed for waging a global war.
Even better news is that technologies already exist or are under development to make our consumption of carbon-based fuels cleaner and more efficient and to harness the renewable power of sun, wind and waves. The private sector, in particular, is competing to capitalize on what they recognize as a massive business opportunity.
Around the world, nations, cities, organizations and businesses are looking afresh at green options. At the United Nations, I have instructed that the plan for renovating our New York headquarters should follow strict environmental guidelines. I have also asked the chief executives of all UN programmes, funds and specialized agencies to move swiftly towards carbon neutrality.
Earlier this year, the UN Environment Programme launched a climate neutral network — CN Net — to energize this growing trend. Its inaugural members, which include countries, cities and companies, are pioneers in a movement that I believe will increasingly define environmental, economic and political discourse and decision making over the coming decades.
The message of World Environment Day 2008 is that we are all part of the solution. Whether you are an individual, an organization, a business or a government, there are many steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint. It is message we all must take to heart.
credits: UNEP/ UNIES
THE WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY ALPHABET80 Ways to Celebrate
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Adopt a ‘green’way of life
Art made of recycled materials
Auctions to benefit an environmental project
Award presentations for environmental competitions
Broadcast of public service announcements (TV and Radio)
Buy a fuel-efficient car
Calculate your carbon footprint
Competitions (banner, drawing, essay, painting, poster, poetry)
Conferences on the environment
Debates on environment issues
Dedicate your blog to World Environment Day on 5 June
Distribute leaflets, brochures and posters
Donate to an environmental cause
Environmental education programmes in schools
Excursions to nature sites
Exhibitions (drawings, posters, photos, paintings)
Film festivals on the environment
Give a gift membership of an environmental organisation
Guidelines to community-based environmental activities
Hoist banners at major road intersections
Help local environmental groups organise WED events
Inform all your friends about WED
Involve various partners (NGOs, ministries, youth groups, celebrities, private sector)
Issue First Day Covers (stamps)
Join an environmental group
Join UNEP’s carbon neutral network
Join the Billion Tree Campaign
Keep your neighbourhood clean
Kick-start an environmental campaign
Kick the CO2 habit!
Know your rights
Launch of government environment policies, books, reports
Lobby local authorities to adopt sound environmental policies
March for the environment
Media coverage and activities
Offset your emissions
Organize a WED themed event in your neighbourhood
Performances (plays, songs, poetry)
Plant a tree
Plastic bags: avoid them!
Promotional material (t-shirts, stickers, bookmarks)
Puppet shows for children with an environmental message
Quizzes related to the theme for schools, youth groups, company staff, etc…
Ratify international environmental conventions
Reduce, re-use, recycle
Rehabilitate natural habitats
Replace your light-bulbs with energy saving ones
Sponsorship from private sector
Switch off stand-by TV and computer
T-shirts for WED
Use sustainable modes of transportation (walking, jogging, cycling, skating, carpool)
Vehicle emission monitoring
Visits to botanical gardens and national parks
Volunteer for organizations such as Clean Up the World
Write plays, poems, songs
Write letters to civic leaders, members of parliament, government and newspapers
Xpect environmental responsibility