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Going Green Makes a Global Impact

Today marks the 41st Anniversary of Earth Day! Join us in celebrating the beautiful planet we live on and demonstrate your commitment to environmental protection and sustainability. And for those of you who have not yet taken part in recycling or other going-green efforts, Earth Day is your opportunity to start making changes in your life and in your community.

The Earth Day Network‘s year-round mission is to broaden, diversify and activate the environmental movement worldwide, through a combination of education, public policy, and consumer campaigns. This year, the organization’s goals are bigger than ever before.

A Billion Acts of Green,” the Earth Day Network’s 2011 theme, is the largest environmental advocacy and service project happening around the globe today! Help power the movement and pledge an act to save our planet here! According to the Earth Day Network’s website, “Every Act registered will be counted toward our ultimate goal of amassing one billion actions in advance of the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.” Millions of individuals have already done so, and you should too!

In addition to this campaign, the Earth Day Network also needs your help to build a new green economy.  One way to help put Americans back to work and solve the climate crisis is by telling the U.S. Congress that you want comprehensive green jobs legislation. You can sign the petition here.

There are even more ways to honor the planet. Here are some green acts you can start doing right now:

  • Plant a tree
  • Brush your teeth without running water
  • Carpool
  • Commit to recycling in your home and at your office
  • Eat more locally grown food
  • Bring reusable shopping bags to the grocery store
  • Use green cleaning products
  • Start a garden

What are other suggestions you have?  Post a comment below!


Global Response to a Global Problem

Climate change is a problem that affects all countries- rich and poor.  The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) held its 16th annual Conference of the Parties (COP16) in Cancún, Mexico from November 29 – December 10, 2010.  The ultimate goal of the Conference is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system.  The Conference has nearly-universal membership with 20,000 delegates, NGO’s (green groups), business and media in attendance from 194 countries.

One of the goals of the Conference was to make a realistic step in taking action on climate change and build upon the Copenhagan Accord by taking steps to better implement it.  The Cancún Agreements made four major steps in achieving that objective:

1. Mitigation targets & actions: The Agreements provide emission mitigation targets and actions for approximately eighty countries (which importantly include all of the major economies) to reduce their emissions by 2020.

2. Green Climate Fund: A fund was proposed last year to help developing countries deal with implementing green policies to prevent climate change, and has a target of $100 billion annually by 2020.  The World Bank is the interim trustee of the Fund, and its oversight board consists of  representatives of the donor nations.

3. Tropical forest protection: One of the challenges facing the developing world is industrializing under environmental restrictions that developed nations did not.  Through the tropical forest protection program, wealthier countries help prevent deforestation in poorer countries by working through market mechanisms.

4. Clean Development Mechanism (CDM): The CDM stimulates sustainable development while also reducing emissions in developing countries.  It also provides industrialized countries flexibility in how they meet their reduction targets.  The CDM allows emission-reduction projects in developing countries to earn emission reduction credits, which can be traded, sold, and used by industrialized countries to meet part of their reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol.

The Conference made an extensive effort to reduce the carbon footprint of the event by doing everything from using renewable resources to planting over 10,000 trees and bushes in Cancún.  Although there is always more that needs to be done to address climate change, the Conference was a successful in creating new initiatives.

As 2011 approaches, we encourage you to think about your carbon footprint and what you can do to make a difference!