Every year, Earth Day presents an opportunity to take stock of the damage inflicted upon our planet, remember its beauty and bounty, and reflect on our role in preserving it.
Every year on April 22nd, thousands of events are held around the world to celebrate Earth Day: from marches and nature clean-ups to educational and cultural initiatives, these are as many opportunities to remember that now is the time to act for our planet.
At ClimateTrade, we see this as a chance to observe what parts of the blue marble need our attention, and provide options for you to take meaningful action today.
Support the energy transition this Earth Day
The number one challenge our planet is facing is climate change, which is caused by the accumulation of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. To limit the damage and ensure a livable future on Earth, we need to decarbonize our economy – and that requires transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
The ClimateTrade marketplace offers a large number of solar and wind power projects certified for their carbon reduction impact.
The Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm is located in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, and produces 450GWh of green energy from 60 wind turbines – enough to power 150,000 average homes with clean electricity!
Protect and restore forests on Earth Day
Forests are key to our planet’s ecosystems, playing a crucial role in carbon absorption and as the natural habitat of millions of species. And yet, globally, we deforest an area equivalent to the size of Portugal every year. Most of this deforestation happens in tropical rainforests, where trees are burned or cut down to make space for the production of commodities such as beef, vegetable oils and coffee.
Protecting and restoring the world’s forests is indispensable in the fight against climate change.
Lábrea, in Brazil’s Amazonas State, is the municipality with the fourth highest deforestation rate in the country. The local deforestation rate recently increased, from 3.8% in 2017 to 5.3% in 2020, making it a priority area for forest conservation worldwide. The Unitor REDD+ Project protects 99,035.20 hectares of forest – that’s about two-thirds of the size of New York City.
No Earth without biodiversity
Biodiversity loss is a threat to life on Earth. Between 1970 and 2018, wildlife populations decreased by about 69%. Not only is this level of extinction tragic – it also reduces our chances of stabilizing the climate: biodiverse ecosystems like forests, peatlands and oceans are natural carbon sinks, and their efficiency is now at risk.
Last year, Terrasos and ClimateTrade commercialized the world’s first Voluntary Biodiversity Credits, a quantifiable tool to protect and restore biodiversity. El Globo is the first project in Colombia to issue these Voluntary Biodiversity Credits. This 340-hectare conservation initiative is registered as a Habitat Bank by the Colombian Ministry of Environment, and applies ecosystem preservation, enhancement and restoration activities to generate positive and permanent impacts on biodiversity.
The Earth is blue because of our oceans
Oceans give our planet its trademark blue color, but they do much more than that. Living organisms in our seas and oceans provide half of the oxygen we breathe and absorb 25% of our carbon emissions. They are quite literally the lungs of our planet.
But rising temperatures and plastic pollution are threatening life in our oceans, and without ocean life, there is no life on Earth. On top of reducing our carbon emissions, it is crucial to clean up our oceans to protect the planet.
Plastic Bank is an organization that builds ethical collection communities in vulnerable coastal areas. Community members collect plastic from the environment and exchange it at their local Plastic Bank branch for secure income and social benefits. The collected material is then processed into feedstock for reuse in products and packaging.
Earth Day for communities
Finally, Earth Day is a great moment to remember the importance of community in the fight against climate change. All the projects on the ClimateTrade marketplace are led by and benefit their local communities, but some are particularly focused on improving livelihoods.
For example, the Sierra Leone Safe Water Project is rehabilitating broken boreholes to deliver safe water to rural communities in the Kono District. There, the lack of purification tools means households often either consume dirty water, regularly suffering from water-related illnesses, or purify it on highly inefficient three-stone fires fuelled by firewood releasing GHG emissions. Water safety and emissions can be avoided by restoring clean water sources – which is exactly what the project is doing.
There are millions of ways you can help the planet this Earth Day and every other day. The important thing is to do something now.