World Environment Day being celebrated globally amid ‘green world’ pledges

'We are asking too much of our planet to maintain our unsustainable ways of life,’ says UN chief.

World Environment Day being celebrated globally amid ‘green world’ pledges

Millions of people around the world are celebrating the annual World Environment Day on Sunday.

Organized by the UN Environment Program, World Environment Day is celebrated annually on June 5 in over 150 countries to encourage global awareness and action for the protection of the environment.

Held annually since 1973, the day has also become a vital platform for promoting progress on the environmental dimensions of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), according to the UN.

The theme of this year’s day is "Only One Earth" with a focus on "living sustainably in harmony with nature."

Many environmental NGOs and individuals across the world are holding various campaigns, including the planting of trees and waste collection.

Marking the day, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said: "We are asking too much of our planet to maintain our unsustainable ways of life."

The UN Environment Program said that tens of millions of people around the world are joining global conversations on social media to demand urgent action regarding conserving and restoring the environment.

Inger Andersen, executive director of the UN Environment Program highlighted the need for increased efforts toward protecting the environment.

"We have to restore nature to its full glory. We have to transform our food systems. We have to make our cities green," she said at the official event held in the Swedish capital Stockholm.

Pledges toward a 'green world'

In addition to celebrations and events, policy-makers have announced new steps toward protecting the environment on the occasion of World Environment Day.

Swedish Environment Minister Annika Strandhall announced that they will ban issuing new licenses for the extraction of coal, oil, and natural gas as of July 1 this year.

"As part of our efforts to implement our climate ambitions, we must take actions against activities that have a negative impact on our health and our environment," she said at the event.

Referring to Türkiye’s new initiatives toward the environment and preventing the effects of climate change, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that they accelerated structural transformations both with legislative changes and concrete projects in line with the "green development revolution."

He announced that in line with the goal to establish 81 million square meters (871 million square meters) of gardens across the nation's 81 provinces, a total of 450 projects have been undertaken.

Meanwhile in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the global initiative 'Lifestyle for the Environment (LiFE) Movement' to raise awareness about sustainable lifestyles.

As part of the day, New Zealand’s Government also announced that the Styx Living Laboratory and partners will receive $4.12 million of Jobs for Nature funding to protect the Styx River.

Additionally, Argentina, Singapore, Canada, and Uganda also announced a series of projects toward reaching a more sustainable environment and the planet, according to the UN Environment.

Hüseyin Demir