World Environment Day 2019

On average, a person inhales around 14,000 litres of air every day. Sounds much? Then why have we been taking it for granted for so long? Today, the 5th of June is World Environment Day and the whole world is focused on the topic ‘Air pollution’.

This day is marked by international cooperation led by the United Nations with the aim to spread knowledge and awareness about specific environmental issues. It can be argued that the urgency of climate change, if not accepted by everyone, is definitely acknowledged worldwide. However, what seems to be lacking from this standpoint is how we go forward from here.

Each year a different county takes on a specific issue and hosts a variety of international celebrations, dialogues and events on World Environment Day. This year’s host country is China presenting on the topic ‘Air pollution’. Some of the facts that China will be grappling with are:
- 92 per cent of people worldwide do not breathe clean air.
- Air pollution costs the global economy $5 trillion every year in welfare costs.
- Ground-level ozone pollution is expected to reduce staple crop yields by 26 per cent by 2030.

The World Environment Day is a great opportunity for our governments to exchange ideas and good practice and learn new ways to tackle air pollution. And for us, individuals, to do exactly the same! We need to take it upon ourselves to enrich our knowledge and use our democratic voice to ensure our government secures sufficient standards of air quality. We can do so much more than we permit ourselves.

We can all agree that every person, every business and every country profits from clean air so let’s profit from the World Environment Day too! Let’s use this day as a reminder and motivator to do better for the present and future of the planet in our everyday life and to secure the basic right of clean air for every child, woman, man, animal and plant. We are after all, tightly connected in the circle of life.

How about today you make a change, breathe easy and ride your bike instead of driving the car.

For more information:

To follow the United Nations World Environment Day campaign go to: https://www.worldenvironmentday.global/?xv=1&c=1
To read the report about air quality in New Zealand go to: https://www.mfe.govt.nz/node/21291