World Environment Day is held on Wednesday June 5th 2019, and is on June 5th every year. It isn’t a public holiday; it is an environmental awareness day, run by the United Nations. It is sometimes also unofficially called Eco Day or Environment Day. The aim of the Day is to raise awareness of the environment and specific environmental issues.

World Environment Day (WED) was established in 1972 but first held in 1974, which shows that concern about the environment goes back several decades at least. 143 countries take part in World Environment Day, and the day focuses on environmental concerns ranging from pollution to global warming and sustainable food production to protection of wildlife.

This year’s celebrations, held under the theme ‘Beat Air Pollution’, called upon people to explore renewable energy and green technologies, and improve air quality in cities and regions across the world. More than 6 billion people – one-third of them children – regularly breathe air that is so polluted it puts their health at risk.

In the weeks leading up to World Environment Day, photos and videos of people on every continent covering the lower half of their faces with masks, scarfs, their hands or even flowers, food, and clothing flooded social media channels.

Each image, accompanied by the hash tag #BeatAirPollution, came with a call for global action and a personal pledge to make individual lifestyle changes to reduce air pollution such as swapping car rides for bike rides, reducing meat intake or powering down electronic equipment when not in use.

“Today, we face an equally urgent crisis. It is time to act decisively,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in his official message for World Environment Day. “My message to governments is clear: tax pollution; end fossil fuel subsidies; and stop building new coal plants. We need a green economy not a grey economy.” health and well-being at risk.

Air pollution goes to the heart of social justice and global inequality. According to the World Health Organization, 97 per cent of cities in low- and middle-income countries with more than 100,000 inhabitants do not meet air quality guidelines. That percentage falls to 49 in high-income countries.

World Environment Day events on every continent drew attention to this issue, and united communities against a global health threat that affects individuals, indiscriminate of age, religion or nationality.

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