In the universe are billions of galaxies.
In our galaxy, there are billions of planets.
But there is #OnlyOneEarth.
The #OnlyOneEarth campaign for World Environment Day 2022 aims to celebrate the planet through collective environmental action. “Only one Earth” was the slogan for the 1972 Stockholm Conference. Though 50 years have passed, this message still holds relevance and importance.
The objective is to ensure people realise the negative impacts of their consumer habits and that their individual actions can make a difference in the transformative environmental change that is necessary in order to develop a more sustainable Earth.
What is World Environment Day?
Held on the 5th of June 2022, the biggest international day for the environment is being led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Stockholm, Sweden. It will be showcasing some of the host country’s pioneering work on the environment over the last 50 years through the form of written stories, short videos, and other online communications. All of this will run alongside a physical event as well as a sister event held in the host country.
Stockholm+50 Sister Event
To commemorate the 1972 Conference, Sweden and Kenya, with the support of UNEP and partners, are organising a meeting in 2022 and are calling it “Stockholm+50”. With the slogan ‘a healthy planet for the prosperity of all’. (1)
This event will focus on the urgent need for action in order to achieve a sustainable and inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. There will be discussions on the acceleration of the implementation of any sustainable development in the framework of the Decade of Action. The event will be held in Stockholm on June 2nd and 3rd, 2022.
Sweden is a frontrunner for making its economy and lifestyle greener for all. Its CO2 emissions per unit of GDP (3.8 tons) are well below the OECD average (9.2 tons) and falling. In recent years, the Swedish have seen great air quality levels as they ramp up their efforts for the environment. They have intensified their efforts for environmental protection and nature conservation, including introductions of low-carbon and renewable infrastructures and technologies. From subsidising solar cells, electric vehicles and charging points installed in most areas, every effort has been made to ensure maximum environmental consideration.
Swedish Sustainable Living
Sweden is leading the fight against climate change and is ahead of its time with its sustainable initiatives. For example:
- It was the first country to pass an environmental protection act in 1967. Since then, it has dedicated itself to becoming reliant upon renewable material for its energy sources. The Swedish government has outlined its goal of going fossil-free and 100% renewable by 2045. (2) This will mean using hydropower, nuclear power, wind power and combined heat and power plants powered by biofuels.
- It’s known that in Stockholm, the entire underground system runs on green electricity, and since 2017, all buses have been running on renewable fuels.
- To complement the already impressive sustainability infrastructure Sweden has to offer, they have a tried-and-tested system in place to encourage people to think about their recycling habits. In which everyone who purchases a plastic bottle or can has to pay a minor deposit which is then refunded when the bottle or can is recycled.
- 2020 saw 46% of the household waste in Stockholm being turned into energy, with almost 90% of bottles and cans and 70% of packaging were recycled. (3) This compares to recycling rate to the rest of Europe, where 74% of paper and 82% of paper packaging is recycled into new products. (4)
- On top of this, there are several food banks that are peppered about the country which is helping to dramatically reduce food waste through redistributing to those in need.
- Additionally, the first wireless electric road is now in operation in Sweden. Meaning, that if you drive an electric car, it will charge the vehicle whilst you drive. There are plans to develop 2,000km of the country’s busiest roads into these wireless electric roads by 2030. (5)
With Sweden leading the way in sustainability, it’s no wonder World Environment Day is being hosted there. If you want to find out more about the event, head over to the World Environment Day website.
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- “Sweden’s Draft integrated National Energy and Climate Plan.”, Government Offices of Sweden, Ministry of the Environment and Energy.
- CEPI, 2020 + Eurostat, 2018.