In Earth Day Address, UN Climate Chief Points to “Window of Hope”
In a video address to mark Earth Day, which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary, UN Climate Chief Patricia Espinosa urged the international community to remain focused on Earth Day 2020’s overarching theme of climate change, despite the covid-19 crisis, and on an economic recovery that is sustainable.
Looking positively ahead to when the Covid-19 crisis is over and global economies get underway again, she spoke of the world’s chance to “recover better” and significantly boost climate ambition in line with the Paris Agreement:
“With this restart, a window of hope and opportunity opens…an opportunity for nations to green their recovery packages and shape the 21st century economy in ways that are clean, green, healthy, safe and more resilient.”
She urged everyone everywhere to signal to their leaders that they want “real and significant, stepped-up climate ambition now.”
The Executive Secretary was joined in her call for a more sustainable economic recovery by climate champions from around the world.
German European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut, Alexander Gerst, delivered a personal message of hope on Earth Day. Mr. Gerst, who flew to the International Space Station (ISS) on a six-month mission in May 2014 and four years later travelled to space for a second time as ISS Commander for Expedition 57, spoke of the fragility of our planet and its interconnectedness.
He said that while human behaviour was having a negative effect on our planet – having witnessed from space how glaciers are shrinking - he was hopeful that humanity can ultimately rise to the challenge of protecting our planet for future generations.
Also on Earth Day, UN Climate Change is promoting a concert with 5 Grammy award-winners led by UNCCD Ambassador Ricky Kej, and an ensemble of 40 prominent musicians who will come together for an Earth Day-themed online concert which can be seen on our Facebook channel.