Earth Day 2024: Renewable Energy Key To Sustainable Future

Celebrated annually on 22 April, Earth Day 2024’s main theme centres around ‘People vs Plastics’ but also looks at sustainability as a whole

Celebrated worldwide on 22 April each year, Earth Day acts as an annual platform to support the environment. Since its founding in 1970, Earth Day has grown massively, now including in excess of a billion people across more than 193 countries.

This year’s iteration bears the theme ‘Planet vs Plastics’ and acts as an ongoing reminder of the importance of preserving Earth’s environment and natural resources.

Earth Day also emphasises the importance of transitioning to sustainable and renewable energy sources while reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

Earth Day 2024: Renewable energy efforts by country

The shift towards renewable energy is an integral part of a conscious effort towards a greener future. This is underscored by Ocean Science & Technology research, which took a deep dive into the renewable efforts of countries across the globe, analysing renewable energy initiatives in 81 countries relative to their wealth and population status.

“This landmark study underscores the critical advancements and diverse approaches nations are taking to harness the power of renewable energy and reduce reliance on fossil fuels,” Ocean Science & Technology’s Founder Mike Rees said. “The exponential increase in renewable energy patents since the turn of the millennium is encouraging and we are proud to celebrate those countries making the biggest strides towards a sustainable future.”

In the study, Chile came out on top as the country that is doing the most when it comes to innovative renewable projects. Rankings were determined by analysing both the percentage change in the number of patents per country between 2000-2021 against factors such as population size, wealth index and total number of renewable energy projects. The 81 countries were then ranked on a scale of 0 to 100, 100 being the most involved country in renewable energy projects.

It found that overall, there has been a positive increase of 76% in the uptake of renewable energy patents across the world.

The top 10 countries for renewable energy efforts are: 

  1. Chile: 99
  2. China: 98.32
  3. Philippines: 81.31
  4. Cyprus: 71.64
  5. US: 67.42
  6. India: 63.67
  7. Ecuador: 60.03
  8. Uruguay: 58.99
  9. Guatemala: 57.29
  10. Croatia: 56.30

The impact of energy on the environment

Earth Day encourages individuals, businesses and governments alike to take proactive steps towards a more sustainable and energy-efficient future. In recognition that addressing energy challenges is crucial for protecting the environment and ensuring a healthy planet for future generations.

Here are five main ways Earth Day does this:

  • Renewable energy promotion: Earth Day emphasises the adoption of renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and hydroelectric, which are abundant, clean and do not produce greenhouse gas emissions or air pollutants during electricity generation
  • Reducing carbon emissions: Fossil fuels are major contributors to CO2 emissions, a primary driver of climate change
  • Energy efficiency: Improving energy efficiency in buildings, transportation and industry, for example, reduces energy consumption, lowers greenhouse gas emissions and saves money
  • Advocacy for policy changes: These support the transition to renewable energy and promote sustainable energy practices
  • Community engagement and education: Earth Day activities often involve community engagement and education about energy-related issues, such as workshops, seminars and outreach programmes to raise awareness of the benefits of renewable energy, energy conservation practices and the importance of transitioning to a low-carbon economy.


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