Earth Day, celebrated 22 April, is the annual event which brings together millions of people from around the globe to express support for environmental protection. Earth Day 2016 marks the 46th anniversary of the first Earth Day which is often credited as playing a fundamental role in launching the modern environmental movement.
More recently, the concept has been expanded to become International Mother Earth Day, based on the simple yet profound recognition of the interconnectedness between all species on Earth and with the Earth itself, and the need for humanity to live in greater harmony with the natural environment.
In his opening remarks to the media during the closing day of the COP21 climate talks in Le Bourget, France on 11 December 2015, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon shared, “I have been attending many difficult multilateral negotiations, but by any standard, this negotiation is most complicated, most difficult, but most important for humanity.”
This statement reflects the weight of expectations placed on COP21. For many, the Paris Agreement was a success, reflecting a universal, explicit acknowledgement among the nations of the world, that climate change is a serious issue requiring urgent action. However, while long on ambition, the Agreement falls short on steps for concrete action.