Climate Action

World Leaders, Corporate Innovators, and Dignitaries Gather to Solve Climate Change and End Poverty

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: APRIL 23, 2015

World Leaders, Corporate Innovators, and Dignitaries Gather to Solve Climate Change and End Poverty

Earth Day Network Announces 13 Commitments to Audience of 250,000 on the National Mall

Washington D.C., April 23, 2015 – On Saturday, April 18, 2015, Earth Day Network and The Global Poverty Project hosted Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day. The event featured performances by Usher, Fall Out Boy, Mary J. Blige, Train, My Morning Jacket, Common, D’Banj, Fally Ipupa, Vixx, Roy Kim, and a finale by No Doubt.

Throughout the day, more than a quarter of a million people packed the National Mall and over two million watched live via YouTube. The event brought together global policymakers, finance ministers, environment and development NGOs, industry executives, and high-profile artists, all working to educate and inspire citizens to take immediate action to protect our planet and its people.

The event was timed to coincide with the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings – the only time world leaders would be in one place before September when they will set the world’s sustainability agenda at the UN General Assembly. Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day was a call to ensure that these world leaders act now to both address climate change and end extreme poverty.

The day’s events are a further testament to the idea that when citizens coalesce around a united goal, our world leaders pay attention. World leaders, corporate innovators, and other dignitaries announced critical commitments on stage to solve climate change.

Thirteen notable commitments announced by Earth Day Network and its partners are outlined below:

EDUCATION

  • In partnership with President Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative, the Hult Prize has invested $25 million dollars in the next generation and mobilized hundreds of thousands of youth to solve our planet’s most crippling challenges through new and innovative business approaches that are both profitable and sustainable.
  • Quote: “Today, we are excited to announce an incredible new partnership with Earth Day Network enabling 500,000 high school students from across the world to dream up innovative ideas and global solutions.  We will pair their ideas with a million dollars of seed funding so that these students, our future, can make their dreams of a better world a reality.” – Ahmad Ashkar, CEO, The Hult Prize
  • Earth Day Network has released The Story of Climate Change, the first-ever iTextbook on climate change aimed at middle school students. This freeonline resource is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards and Climate Literacy Standards. This interactive digital textbook allows students to witness our changing climate through animation, science videos, photographs and field expedition stories.
  • Quote: “We need educators to equip students with the latest information on climate change and empower students to take the lead now.” – Johanna Bozuwa, Associate Director of Education, Earth Day Network

POLITICAL ACTION

  • The NAACP Voter Fund, Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP), League of Conservation Voters (LCV) and Earth Day Network (EDN) committed to registering one million new climate voters for the 2016 election.
  • Quote: “Through the Million Climate Voters Campaign we will empower our communities to fight for real climate change legislation, and give more people a stronger voice in our democracy.  One Person. One Vote. Money Out.Voters In.” – Greg Moore, Executive Director, NAACP Voter Fund

MARINE PROTECTION

  • Over 80% of marine debris is plastic. Worldwide, we throw away 50 billion plastic bottles every year and 80% of them still end up in landfills and then our oceans where they take over 450 years to degrade.
  • Quote: “We cannot sit by and watch this crisis unfold. We have to change the way we interact with plastics, redesign greener products and rethink our waste practices to ultimately clean-up our oceans. Over the next four years, my organization will commit over $200 million dollars to ocean and coastal issues. But we can’t do this alone. We need your commitment to be part of the solution to reduce, reuse and recycle our plastics. It all starts today, with your plastic bottle. Join us!” – Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson, Global Environment Facility

ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS

  • Rovio Entertainment, whose Angry Birds game has been downloaded 2.8 billion times, in cooperation with the Earth Day Network, announced Angry Birds’ “Champions for Earth.”
  • Quote: “I am now committing, on behalf of Rovio and Earth Day Network, to bring an amazing game experience to Angry Birds in time for Climate Week and the UN General Assembly in September. Stay tuned, get ready!” – Patrick Liu, Creative Director, Rovio Entertainment

ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICE

  • 40 million young people – boys and girls – from 223 countries and territories around the globe are Scouts. By learning to live with nature, Scouts are on the front line taking action to protect it.
  • Quote: “I stand before you today to declare, with confidence, that Scouts worldwide will log an additional one billion hours of community service, including planting trees, over the next five years.” – Scott A. Teare, Secretary General, World Organization of the Scout Movement
  • The Boy Scouts of America announced a new Earth Day Award program. Every year leading up to the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in 2020, a new commemorative patch will be earned by Scouts who complete individual acts of service in celebration of Earth Day.
  • Quote: “This patch can be earned by Scouts and Scouting volunteers of all ages as they make their individual commitments and acts of service in celebration of this incredible Global Earth Day Movement” – John Stewart, Sustainability Director, Boy Scouts of America

RAINFOREST PRESERVATION

  • The Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Soldberg committed to rainforest preservation in key areas such as Brazil to help reduce the impacts of climate change with $500 million in donations per year to continue through 2020 for a total of $2.5 billion.
  • Quote: “Protecting and preserving rainforests is a key element in the solution of climate change.” – Erna Soldberg, Prime Minister, Norway

POLLUTION CONTROL

  • The World Bank will launch a new Pollution Management and Environmental Health Trust Fund (PMEH) to promote more systematic and effective responses to deadly and costly pollution.
  • Quote: “Today’s event confirms that we are not alone in this fight. We have a huge opportunity to show leadership and find solutions that match the scale of the problem.” – Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Dr. Naglaa El-Ahwany

LEAD PAINT

  • UNEP and EPA announce goals of the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint, a partnership established to prevent children’s exposure to lead paint and to minimize occupational exposures to lead paint.
  • Quote: “Let’s work together to get lead paint out of schools, hospitals and homes. We encourage governments everywhere to take action to establish laws on lead in household paints.” – Walker Smith, Director, Office of Global Affairs and Policy, Environmental Protection Agency

WASTE REDUCTION

  • William McDonough and FEMSA commit to reuse recycled materials such as PET through the WonderShade project, which will create and donate shade structures for children’s sports fields in Central American communities. The project is a prototype that moves towards a world with zero waste, with the goal of using formerly wasted materials to create free or low cost housing for up to a billion people.
  • Quote: “Our goal is to create building elements for culturally desirable and affordable housing with clean energy, clean water and other benefits for people in need everywhere.” – William McDonough, Architect

INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY

  • Toyota announced its commitment to hydrogen fuel cell technology and the introduction of vehicles whose only emission is water. Toyota has also released over 5,000 patents to open the door to widespread development of a hydrogen fuel cell economy.
  • Quote: “We truly believe that hydrogen and hydrogen fuel cell technology will be a societal and economic game-changer.  But it will take time, investment, innovation and collaboration.  Toyota has invested 20 years to ensure hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are ready for prime time.” – Geri Yoza National Manager, Fuel Cell Vehicles, Toyota Motor Sales USA

FAITH LEADERS

  • Interfaith Power & Light is calling on congregations and individuals across the US to commit to reducing their carbon pollution 50 percent by 2030 and going carbon neutral by 2050. To date, over 65 congregations and 1100 individuals representing different faith traditions have made this commitment, allowing IPL to commit to 100,000 tons of reduced carbon output in time for the Paris climate talks in December.
  • Quote: “Our Paris Pledge is a commitment to reduce energy by 50% by 2030 and be completely carbon neutral by 2050. Our reductions are steeper than the U.S. government, because we teach and preach, in our congregations, that this is greatest moral challenge of our time. And religious voices bring moral authority; we are going to be the agent of change.” – Sally Bingham, President of Interfaith, Power and Light

For more information about the event, the commitments, and how to take action, please download the Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day app and visit globalcitizen2015earthday.org.

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ABOUT EARTH DAY NETWORK:

The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. Growing out of the first Earth Day, Earth Day Network (EDN), the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, works with tens of thousands of partners in 192 countries to build environmental democracy and to broaden, diversify and mobilize the environmental movement. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. For more information, visit archiveedn.wpengine.com