Earth Day 2023 and each day is about saving Planet Earth

Earth Day is every day, and anywhere you are. And in a time of climate change, it’s the last call for a healthier planet – it’s the only one we have.

By Ajit Dalvi calendar 22 Apr 2023 Views icon10928 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Earth Day 2023 and each day is about saving Planet Earth

Today – April 22 – is Earth Day 2023 and the 53rd anniversary of Earth Day. Earth Day is now a global event each year, and over a billion people across 192 countries now take part in what is the largest civic-focused day of action in the world. It is a day of political action and civic participation. People march, sign petitions, meet with their elected officials, plant trees, clean up their towns and roads. Corporations and governments use it to make pledges and announce sustainability measures. Faith leaders connect Earth Day with protecting the human race, biodiversity and the planet that we all live on. And the automotive industry too is doing its bit to ensure green motoring. 

Earth Day also marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. That year was the height of counterculture in the United States, it witnessed the death of Jimi Hendrix, the last Beatles album, and Simon & Garfunkel’s 'Bridge Over Troubled Water'. War raged in Vietnam and students across the US overwhelmingly opposed it.

At the time, Americans were slurping leaded fuel through massive V8 sedans. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of legal consequences or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. 'Environment' was a word that appeared more often in spelling contests than on the evening news.

Although mainstream America largely remained oblivious to environmental concerns, the stage had been set for change by the publication of Rachel Carson’s New York Times bestseller Silent Spring in 1962. The book represented a watershed moment, selling more than 500,000 copies in 24 countries, and beginning to raise public awareness and concern for living organisms, the environment and links between pollution and public health. Earth Day 1970 gave voice to that emerging consciousness, channelling the energy of the anti-war protest movement and putting environmental concerns on the front page.

Focus on EVs, ESG

Cut to 2023 when countries, corporates and citizens are all seized of the urgency to enhance the green quotient in every sphere of life, including transportation. The shift to eco-friendly electric mobility is underway globally. In March 2023, according to ACEA, the EU witnessed a significant increase in new registrations of battery electric vehicles (BEVs), which surged by a massive 58% to reach 151,573 units. This is equivalent to a market share of 13.9% and represents a 2.5% increase from March 2022 (11.4%). In India too, demand for EVs is accelerating. In FY2023, EV sales in India hit 1.17 million units and charged past 100,000 units for six months in a row. Concurrently, demand for CNG-powered vehicles is also on the rise and have surged by 46% to over 650,000 units in FY2023.

ESG or Environmental Social Governance is now a common acronym., the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, working with more than 150,000 partners in over 192 countries to drive positive action for Planet Earth, writes: “Sustainability is the path to prosperity for humanity and businesses alike. Companies which have developed strong Environmental Social Governance (ESG) standards are seeing better profitability, stronger financial performance and happier employees. There is no longer a choice between going green and growing long-term profits. It is crucial for businesses of all sizes to act now. If they don’t, climate change will cause even more catastrophic damage to our economies and negatively impact us all.” 

UN urges accelerated climate action

The United Nations, which calls April 22 International Mother Earth Day, spells it out succinctly: "Mother Earth is clearly urging a call to action. Nature is suffering. Oceans filling with plastic and turning more acidic. Extreme heat, wildfires and floods have affected millions of people. Even these days, we are still trying to get back on track from Covid-19, a worldwide health pandemic linked to the health of our ecosystem.”

UN Secretary General António Guterres, in his message on Earth Day 2023, says: “On International Mother Earth Day, we reflect on humanity’s most important relationship — our relationship with the natural world. From the air we breathe to the water we drink to the soil that grows our food – humanity’s health depends on the health of Mother Earth. Yet we seem hellbent on destruction.”

“We need accelerated climate action with deeper, faster emissions cuts to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius. We also need massively scaled-up investments in adaptation and resilience, particularly for the most vulnerable countries and communities who have done the least to cause the crisis.”

S-t-r-e-t-c-h every litre of fuel or plug into EVs
The automotive and other industries are seized of the immensity of the environmental issue. Vehicle and component manufacturers are taking to new materials, technologies and processes to lightweight vehicles to s-t-r-e-t-c-h every litre of fuel to the maximum, motorists still tanking up on fossil fuel can also their bit to conserve petrol and diesel. Or shift gear to electrified vehicles. All in a bid to stave off pollution and save Planet Earth.

 The cost of fossil-fuelled motoring, is going only one way – up. While we can’t do anything about the price of fuel, there are ways to increase your car's fuel economy and get the best kilometres per litre. Things like removing excess weight in the form of bulky items, keeping it well maintained and serviced regularly, advance planning of journeys, sticking to speed limits, using engine stop/start and going electric. 

Earth Day and every day is about achieving kaizen at sustainability, conservation and management of energy, resources and applying the Recycle, Reuse and Repurpose strategy.  It's all about continuous and sustained investment in Planet Earth. 


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