Earth Day 2021 Earth Day By Michelle Charlesworth At Aspire, we are committed to working towards environmental sustainability and realising a more inclusive and sustainable local economy for Oxfordshire. On Earth Day 2021, we reinforce those commitments to do all we can. Figures show that global CO2 emissions are now back at above pre-pandemic levels, and, considering that we need to dramatically cut emissions by an estimated 45 per cent by 2030 to keep global warming to 1.5°C, the magnitude of the challenge we’re facing is clear. This blog is a part of that commitment - to encourage participation in Earth Day, as it shines a light on the serious environmental problems we’re facing - from the climate crisis to air pollution and deforestation - raising awareness, and encouraging action. What is Earth Day about? Earth Day has been marked on 22nd April every year since 1970. This year, Earthday.org is calling for three days of climate action, from 20th to 22nd April. US president Joe Biden has invited 40 world leaders - including United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson - to take part in a live-streamed virtual summit on 22nd and 23rd April to highlight the urgency for stronger climate action. This will be a key milestone on the road to the United Nations Climate Change Conference, which is to be held in Glasgow and hosted by our government. What can we do to raise awareness and create change? The theme for this year, ‘Restore our Earth’, has 5 pillars of engagement encouraging us all to get involved - including getting stuck in to clean up (alone or in groups) with the Global Clean up, planting trees with the canopy project, or assisting with counting bees in the Earth Challenge. "We must Restore Our Earth not just because we care about the natural world, but because we live on it. Every one of us needs a healthy Earth to support our jobs, livelihoods, health & survival, and happiness. A healthy planet is not an option — it is a necessity."