Governments and businesses will be using this day to make transformative global changes. With nature in emergency mode and amid the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste, the need for action to protect the planet is now more important than ever.
But, meaningful action must happen at all levels, and people can play a critical role in driving change and enabling collective action to ensure we can meet the theme of this year’s World Environment Day: “living sustainably in harmony with nature.”
Ahead of the biggest international day for the environment, here are five events that showcase the important role we can play in protecting Earth.
Concert for Climate, Sweden
Musicians from around the world will gather in Stockholm for a concert to raise awareness of the urgent need to end deforestation by 2030 and safeguard human and environmental health. UN-REDD, a knowledge and advisory platform on the forest solutions to the climate crisis has helped reduce forest emissions equal to what 150 million cars would produce a year and has channeled and mobilized over US$1 billion since its launch in 2008. Julian Marley and Julian Lennon will perform at the concert. Lennon has debuted a new song that aligns with his fundraising work for projects related to indigenous, environmental and humanitarian well-being, as well as clean water accessibility.
The Bhamla Foundation, a volunteer-driven non-governmental organization, will organize a cyclothon in Mumbai to promote greener forms of transport. Transportation systems in the Indian city largely rely on fossil fuels, contributing to air pollution, which is the greatest environmental threat to public health globally. Air pollution caused an estimated 14,000 deaths and $2 billion in economic losses in Mumbai last year, according to UNEP partner IQAir. Globally, nine out of 10 people breathe unclear air, and it causes one in nine deaths, UNEP data shows. The cyclothon, which followed a 10km route, gave thousands of cyclists and environmentalists a platform to encourage net-zero emissions.
Electric motorcycle tour, Egypt
Ali Abdo, a sustainability and environmental activist campaigning for greater development of electric vehicles, holds the Guinness World Record for greatest distance on an electric motorcycle in 24 hours: 919.87 km in 2021. Ahead of World Environment Day, he will ride his electric motorcycle through Egyptian cities around the River Nile to meet students and government officials and deliver talks focused on the impacts of the climate crisis. UNEP’s Global Electric Mobility Programme supports more than 50 low- and middle-income countries with the shift from fossil fuel to electric vehicles. This builds upon the work of the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles, which last year ended the production of leaded fuel after a 20-year campaign.
E-waste collection campaign, Romania
In the month leading up to World Environment Day, The Green Project has provided free collection of electronic waste and set up community drop-off points around Maramureș County. Through additional incentives, including a lottery, the company raised awareness on the importance of proper e-waste recycling and the need to adopt circular economy model. UNEP’s programmes promote circularity – the practice of minimizing new resource inputs by reusing materials – and chemical and pollution management.
Minecraft Sustainable Design Competition, Australia
Twenty-four school children in Queanbeyan–Palerang, New South Wales, are using the popular video game Minecraft to re-envision their local community and incorporate sustainable living aspects to embody the idea of living in harmony with nature. The young people aged 5–17 have shared their creations, at a Queanbeyan–Palerang Regional Council public screening ceremony showcasing the designs with commentary from their creators describing how they presented the World Environment Day theme. Some of these included expanded green spaces featuring plenty of trees and flowers, communal gardens for fresh produce, and buildings with solar panels.
The UNEP-facilitated Playing for the Planet Alliance has enabled the planting of over one million trees and engaged 130 million gamers on themes relating to the environment. The 43 game studios that are members and associates of the alliance have committed to including environmental themes in games and embracing a collective shift to green energy, among other goals.
Tune in to the live broadcast from Sweden and Nairobi on 5 June for more information about the outcomes of these events, and view the events page for over 3,000 more examples of individual action.
About World Environment Day
World Environment Day on 5 June is the biggest international day for the environment. Led by UNEP and held annually since 1973, the event has grown to be the largest global platform for environmental outreach, with millions of people from across the world engaging to protect the planet. Take part in Earth Action Numbers, put your environmental actions and events on the interactive world map, and share your personalised social media cards on your channels.
Tune in to live updates to keep informed about events happening near you.