The Countdown Is On!


April 22, 2020

2020 will mark Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary! As the global coordinator of Earth Day, Earth Day Network is working to make sure that Earth Day 2020 is the most diverse global mobilization in defense of the environment in world history.

We work year-round with more than 50,000 partner organizations in 190 countries, and our global campaigns and programs bring hundreds of thousands of new voices—representing youth and faculty, the faith community, minority groups, women, teachers, students and others—into the environmental movement.

The opportunity is before us now to use the 50th anniversary of Earth Day as a catalytic event to reignite the environmental movement and unite the vast array of groups and individuals who care for and protect the earth.

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Building on the Earth Day Legacy

The first Earth Day in 1970 enlisted 20 million Americans and is credited with launching the modern environmental movement. It is now recognized as the planet’s largest civic event and it led to passage of landmark environmental laws in the United States, including the Clean Air, Clear Water and Endangered Species Acts. Many countries soon adopted similar laws, and the United Nations chose Earth Day 2016 to sign the Paris climate agreement.

“Despite that amazing success and decades of environmental progress, we find ourselves facing an even more dire, almost existential, set of global environmental challenges, from loss of biodiversity to climate change to plastic pollution, that call for action at all levels of government,” said Denis Hayes, the organizer of the first Earth Day in 1970 and Earth Day Network’s Board Chair Emeritus.

“Progress has slowed, climate change impacts grow, and our adversaries have become better financed,” said Earth Day Network president Kathleen Rogers. “We find ourselves today in a world facing global threats that demand a unified global response. For Earth Day 2020, we will build a new generation of environmentalist activists, engaging millions of people worldwide.”

Putting Plans Into Action for Earth Day 2020:
The 50th Anniversary of Earth Day

The 50th anniversary of Earth Day will launch the most diverse and passionate global environmental movement in history.

We’re already on the ground working on the 50th anniversary event and collaborating with partners and major global players, including multilaterals, faith groups, teachers, universities, museums, science organizations, state governments, mayors, artists, athletes and other vital stakeholders.

We will educate and mobilize more than one billion people to grow and support the next generation of environmental activists. It’s time to reimagine what we can collectively do for our global environment with activities and events. The seven components:

  • Foodprints for the Future: An often ignored aspect of climate change, EDN will bring food and its connection to climate change to the forefront of the environmental movement on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Animal agriculture and food waste account for almost a third of all greenhouse gas emissions. This Earth Day we will create a resounding call to connect plant-based food choices with climate solutions.
  • Citizen Science: We are leveraging Citizen Science and emerging technologies to engage one million global citizens in the 50th anniversary “Earth Challenge 2020,” collecting one billion data points to measure air quality, water quality, pollution and human health. This initiative is being developed in association with dozens of major partners in the science and health communities as well as leading technology companies.
  • Advocacy: The time is now to mobilize and take action to save our planet. We will amplify direct links between technological innovation and inclusive climate prosperity, two signature themes we will be emphasizing around the world as we build towards the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day in 2020. We are creating millions of avenues for civic engagement in all 190 countries around the world and working with global decision-makers, including policy makers, local, regional and national governments and corporate sector leaders, to reach a diverse network of citizens around the world.
  • Volunteering: We are engaging volunteers across the globe for a month-long worldwide volunteer-driven program, “The Great Global Cleanup™” and starting with cleanups for Earth Day 2019. We expect 100 million people participating in public events, as well as one billion others — including K-12 students around the world — to remove billions of pieces of trash from our neighborhoods, beaches, and parks. EDN is also working with partners to plant 7.8 billion trees, one for every human who will live on the planet in 2020. Sign up for email updates for future opportunities.
  • Education: We are building environmental and climate literacy worldwide. EDN will continue to work with teachers, students, innovators and thought leaders to educate and activate a new generation of environmental leaders around the world.
  • Events: Earth Day is now recognized worldwide as the planet’s most significant civic engagement event each year. The 50th anniversary of Earth Day will be marked by tens of thousands of rallies and community events in every country in the world, and large-scale signature events to take place in Washington, D.C., and other global capitals.
  • Artists for the Earth: As Earth Day reaches its milestone 50th Anniversary in April 2020, nature and the environment are faced with enormous challenges from loss of biodiversity, pollution, degradation of our ecosystems, and climate change. Art must join with science to personalize climate change and disseminate it to a wider audience.

Global Advisory Committee for the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day in 2020

Earth Day Network has enlisted leaders and activists to help inspire and guide our work and engage our global audience for Earth Day 2020. The Global Advisory Committee members: U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, the first U.S. EPA Administrator William Ruckelshaus, actor and activist Leonardo DiCaprio, Indian actor and producer Anil Kapoor, former President of Finland Tarja Halonen, Secretary of the Smithsonian David J. Skorton, Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, television writer and producer Norman Lear, Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn, co-founder of EarthEcho International Philippe Cousteau, Senior Fellow at the Woods Hole Research Center Rafe Pomerance, film producer Stacey Sher, United Nations Foundation CEO Kathy Calvin, founder and managing partner of DBL Partners Nancy Pfund, and actor and activist Ed Begley Jr.

Press release to announce the Earth Day 2020 Global Advisory Committee.

Get Involved with Earth Day 2020

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