Earth Day 2020: What is the theme and significance of this day?

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Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 every year. And on today we mark 50 years of Earth Day.

Well, the theme for Earth Day 2020 is climate action. The enormous challenge — but also the vast opportunities — of action on climate change have distinguished the issue as the most pressing topic for the 50th anniversary, says Earth Day’s website.

Climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the life-support systems that make our world habitable.

What is the significance of this day?

Earth Day was a unified response to an environment in crisis — oil spills, smog, rivers so polluted they literally caught fire.

On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans — 10% of the U.S. population at the time — took to the streets, college campuses and hundreds of cities to protest environmental ignorance and demand a new way forward for our planet, according to the Earth Day website.

The first Earth Day is credited with launching the modern environmental movement and is now recognized as the planet’s largest civic event.

The first Earth Day in 1970 launched a wave of action, including the passage of landmark environmental laws in the United States. The Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts were created in response to the first Earth Day in 1970, as well as the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Many countries soon adopted similar laws, says Earth Day’s website.

Earth Day continues to hold major international significance: In 2016, the United Nations chose Earth Day as the day when the historic Paris Agreement on climate change was signed into force.

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