WORLD LEADERS HOST DIALOGUES ON GROWING THE GREEN ECONOMY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

General press: Joan Michelson

+1-202-518-0044 x14

+1-702.806.3690

 michelson@earthday.org

April 21, 2011                                                         

WORLD LEADERS HOST DIALOGUES ON GROWING THE GREEN ECONOMY

Washington, DC— Local government officials in 22 international cities will meet with their area’s residents as part of Earth Day Network’s Global Day of Conversation campaign, to discuss promoting the green economy, protecting ecosystems, and saving on energy costs.  In large and small countries across the globe, ministers, governors, and city council members from China to Mauritius are taking part in these conversations to find innovative solutions to create jobs and green their economies.

These meetings are part of Earth Day activities that also include festivals, tree planting campaigns, and city clean-up days.

Topics for the Global Day of Conversation events include energy efficiency, water conservation, transportation, and how countries can create economic opportunity through green jobs and clean industry.  These conversations show the commitment of communities to grow the green economy in 2011 and beyond.

“Earth Day Network is thrilled that leaders around the world have chosen Earth Day as a time to focus their communities on how they can all benefit from growing a green economy, " said Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day Network, "They realize that preserving the environment presents opportunities for innovation and investment that can grow new, high-quality jobs. The commitment to a clean energy economy that these Global Day of Conversation events demonstrate serves as a call to action for international leaders to support building green economies.”

For over 40 years, Earth Day has served as a launching pad for community action in sustainable development.  In 2011, Earth Day Network’s A Billion Acts of Green® campaign has counted over 100 million Acts that engage officials and community residents around the world in making a commitment to create a healthier planet.

Government officials on five continents will participate in dialogues with local residents. Below are some highlights from the international Global Day of Conversation events.

§         On April 10 In Port Louis, Mauritius, Environment Minister Deva Virahsawmy spoke about the importance of environmental education to a group of over 100 children from across Mauritius at the 1st National Children’s Painting Day on the Environment. 

§         On April 20 in Sunderland, England the Youth Parliament hosted a debate with city council members on local green economy efforts.  Sunderland, a sister city of Washington, D.C., was ranked first for climate change policy planning in the United Kingdom’s Sustainable Cities Index 2010.

§         On April 21 in Doha, Qatar, The Qatar Foundation and the Associate Vice Minister for Environmental Affairs, Dr. Rashid A.R. Alkuwari, engaged Qatari and U.S. youth in a dialogue on the importance of sustainability and environmental awareness in developing the green economy.  Read our International Program Director Beth Larson’s blog at: http://www.earthday.org/blog/international/2011/04/21/earth-day-2011-%E2%80%93-qatar-engages-global-day-conversation

§         On April 22 in Beijing, China government officials and volunteers will collaborate to host the Green Earth Volunteer Water Dialogue. Participants will discuss the ongoing desertification of the Gobi desert, a process that causes sky-blackening dust storms in and around Beijing. 

§         On May 3 in Mexico City, Mexico, the city’s Environment Minister,Martha Delgado,will host a virtual town hall chat on the future of the green economy. The chat is open to the public, and participants may submit questions online. Go to: http://act.earthday.org/event/global-day-conversation-mexico-city

Other countries participating in dialogues with local residents include Iraq, Colombia, the United Arab Emirates, Sudan, South Africa, Italy, Bulgaria, and Albania.

About Earth Day Network

Earth Day Network’s mission is to broaden, diversify and mobilize the environmental movement, driving action year-round.  Earth Day Network does this through advocacy, education, public policy, and consumer campaigns.  Earth Day Network mobilizes over one billion people in 192 countries with the help of our 25,000 partners. 

Earth Day is collaborating with Facebook to engage people worldwide in environmental action through the Billion Acts of Green® campaign. The two organizations worked together to create a new application or “app” that is inspiring people around the world to take actions to reduce their impact on the environment.  The app can be found at http://apps.facebook.com/billionactsofgreen.

To find out more information about Global Day of Conversation events, please go to: www.earthday.org/events.