Celebrating World Environment Day: ‘Our Land, Our Future’

World Environment Day is celebrated on 5 June each year. Credit: Keefe Tay
Bearing the theme of land restoration, desertification and drought resilience, World Environment Day 2024 instigates awareness that benefits the planet

Much like Earth Day that rolls around each March, the United Nations’ (UN’s) World Environment is marked on 5 June each year.

With each instalment bearing its own theme, this year’s commemoration revolves around the core topics of land restoration, desertification and drought resilience, accompanied by the slogan ‘Our Land, Our Future’.

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The annual marking of World Environment Day revolves around raising awareness and encouraging action for the protection of the planet.

World Environment Day 2024

With the World Environment Day platform inspiring positive change across more than 150 countries, 5 June is an annual celebration of environmental action and the power of governments, businesses and individuals to create a more sustainable world.

In the words of the UN, World Environment Day “puts a global spotlight on the pressing environmental challenges of our times”. 

The diplomatic and political international organisation says the annual commemoration of World Environment Day day has become the largest global platform for environmental outreach, with millions of people from across the world engaging to protect the planet, with it celebrating 50 years since its inception in 2023.

Speaking on World Environment Day, Kelly Becker, President UK & Ireland at Schneider Electric  said: “It is undeniable – the climate crisis is urgent. Now, with the estimated cost of the crisis between US$1.7tn and US$3.1tn per year by 2050, decarbonisation must be at the top of our agendas.  

“But, there’s already plenty to be optimistic about this World Environment Day. For example, businesses are realising the tangible benefits to the environment and to business growth.

Kelly Becker, President UK & Ireland at Schneider Electric

"By adopting smart technologies, monitoring energy usage and investing in renewables, businesses not only improve efficiency but also positively impact the environment and local communities.

“In addition, it can also unlock major economic growth as well as job creation. Our research suggests 247,000 jobs could be created in the UK by businesses adopting clean energy technologies.

"By replacing processes that are currently reliant on fossil fuels with technologies that utilise green electricity, we can continue on our trajectory towards a more sustainable future, while driving long-term economic growth and prosperity.”   

What does World Environment Day mean for energy and sustainability?

World Environment Day

The 2024 iteration of World Environment Day is being hosted by Saudi Arabia, with a focus on land restoration, desertification, and drought resilience.

There are four key ways that this theme will directly impact energy and sustainability circles, especially as the globe motions toward a more sustainable and resilient future. 

Thanks to the land restoration, desertification and drought resilience theme, the 2024 day will draw more attention to the critical intersection of these themes with energy and sustainability.

World Environment Day each year, especially as a result of the 2024 theme, plays a significant role in raising awareness, encouraging education and advocacy and promoting sustainable energy solutions. This comes in the form of highlighting the importance of renewable energy sources which not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also help in mitigating climate change and its impacts on land degradation and drought.

World Environment Day is celebrated on 5 June each year. Credit: Akil Mazumder

Energy efficiency also comes into play, as the theme emphasises energy conservation and efficiency measures that reduce overall energy demand and, as a result, lower lower costs and decrease environmental footprints.

Speaking ahead of World Environment Day 2022, Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said: “We are running against the clock. As we look to a future of heatwaves, droughts, floods, wildfires, pandemics, dirty air, wars and plastic-ridden oceans, action is more important than ever.”

Inger Andersen

On top of this, World Environment Day helps address land degradation and desertification, facilitating the fostering of innovation and technology as well as enabling policy and international cooperation.

Looking ahead to the rest of 2024

With Saudi Arabia’s focus on World Environment Day’s three key areas, it is hoped that this year’s annual marking of the day will emphasise the importance of the following: will likely 

World Environment Day 2024
  • Restoration projects
  • Drought-resilient practices
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Renewable energy in arid regions

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