Earth Day 2021 goes digital with ‘Restore our Earth’ theme

Starting today (April 20th) and carrying through to the 22nd, Earth Day is planning some big online events for the estimated 10 million changemakers set to tune in.

Has it really been a year already? The three days of climate action currently underway for Earth Day 2021 would suggest so, and we definitely need another kick up the backside.

This Thursday (April 20th) will mark the 51st Earth Day since its inauguration in the 70s. Originally intended to be a day where people of all cultures and backgrounds come together to celebrate the sanctity and beauty of the planet, it has slowly evolved into a multi-day crunch event for sustainable action as we aim to protect Earth from the looming threat of climate change.

Thanks to the added menace of COVID-19, 2020 forced organisers to go entirely digital with all events last year. Unfortunately, we’re still not in a place where we can congregate and push for global change in person.

On a positive note, the organising body EarthDay.org has claimed that everything will run far smoother this time around with last year’s invaluable experience of hosting in this format. Speaking of which, its online networks are said to be preparing for around 10 million people to tune in for its key summits and digital activities. Promising stuff.

Those who’re familiar with Earth Day in recent years will be pleased to hear that EarthDay.org’s interactive global map is back and connecting more people than ever before across borders through the internet.

Denoting all high-profile environmental protection schemes and clean-up projects across the world, EarthDay.org hopes it will be a portal for a record number of changemakers in 2021 – having involved nearly 1 billion people from 200 countries on Earth Day’s 50th anniversary last year.

Those of you invested in social change on a day-to-day basis will have noted that April 22nd represents a landmark date for green reform, including the watershed commencement of the Paris Agreement back in 2016. On that front, we could be privy to announcements over the next few days which bear similar significance, so if you can help it don’t miss out.

The first official summit will begin this evening (Tuesday 20th) viewable on EarthDay.org along with Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch.

Earth Uprising, a youth-led organisation focused on educating people about the dangers of climate change, and action citizens can take – from getting involved in clean-up days, to the nuances of clicktivism – will lead the programming on Tuesday. Get onboard and champion your fellow Gen Zers.

Following this, the evening will mark the start of the ‘We Shall Breathe’ showcase, which will examine the climate’s effect on justice issues such as poverty, pollution, police brutality, and racism, also paying attention to the unique impact of COVID-19.

Wednesday’s webinar (if you will) on the 21st is to be headed up by Education International and aims to highlight the importance of transformative education surrounding climate change, and the myriad ways in which we can combat it right now. Head here to sign up for a video call link.

Then for the main event on Thursday (22nd), officially recognised as Earth Day 2021. The ‘Restore our Earth’ event will bring together global leaders, activists, actors, and musicians at noon Eastern time.

Featuring the likes of Greta Thunberg, Alexandria Villasenor, and Licypriya Kangujam, panel discussions will cover natural processes, emerging green tech, and innovative ideas to restore the world’s threatened ecosystems.

Bringing further attention to the events of Earth Day, President Joe Biden is set to partake in a special ‘leaders summit’ in which 40 government heads including Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Canada’s Justin Trudeau, and leaders from India and China will be present.

Ahead of Cop26 in November, this may serve as an opportunity for Biden to give specifics on his much touted ‘clean energy revolution’ to businesses and opening green jobs in the US. Suffice to say, it could be a huge moment for climate change reform going forward.

If you’re looking to actively get involved in immediate solutions right now, hundreds of thousands have already committed to Earth Day’s Great Global Clean-up, which will join together communities in their local waste hotspots on land and sea to help restore them.

There’s no doubting that Earth Day going online again is something of a blow for everyone, but equally we have to push ahead knowing that the need for climate action is more desperate now than ever before if we’re to reach our green targets by 2030.

EarthDay.org president Kathleen Rogers is extremely excited nevertheless, but claims next year ‘we will have a blowout if it kills me.’ In the meantime, we’ll catch you online.

@thredmag

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