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World Environment Day 2012

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the United Nations Environmental Programme’s World Environment Day.


This day stands to remind us that our planet’s resources are limited. With a rapidly growing population, and increased demand for natural resources, it has become apparent that the well-being of our future generations rests on our ability to adopt a more sustainable way of life. Raising awareness of the sustainability issue is a critical step in moving towards a cleaner world, and a better future. That’s why the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) created World Environment Day, and that is why it is important that we as individuals remain open to learning more.
The theme of this year’s World Environment Day is Green Economy. UNEP defines a Green Economy as one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. In the most basic sense, a Green Economy is one driven by jobs and investments that focus on becoming more energy and resource efficient and improving efforts in carbon reduction. Some may see a Green Economy as an unnecessary cost and believe that investments into becoming more resourceful are essentially wasted, and that the benefits of the resulting efficiencies are too small to make a difference. One way that World Environment Day can influence society it by highlighting some of the many tangible successes around the globe. For example, China has implemented a five year plan that projects the per-unit GDP energy consumption to decrease 20% by 2010, as compared to 2005. This will be accomplished by using renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. It is estimated that in 2009 alone, 300,000 jobs were created by the renewable energy plan. Are numbers such as these really too small to make a difference?

One of the greatest parts about a Green Economy is that it is designed not only to benefit the environment, but also to benefit you! Economic stimulation, job creation, and social equality are all things that include you. Take a look around, and investigate what is happening around you to support a Green Economy. Are you being included? See how others are celebrating, or share your activity!

Some people may close off the idea of having a Green Economy, we cannot ignore the importance of sustainability. Many companies, such as AGCO, have taken an initiative to embrace sustainability issues into their business. As more people learn about why issues such as these are important, they will understand that sustainable ideas such as moving towards a Green Economy are not only beneficial, but also necessary.

So, if you are looking for something to celebrate, feel free to go to UNEP’s World Environment Day home page to learn more about World Environment Day, and how people around the world are making a difference!

 

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