The host country for 2022 is Sweden (Credits: Shutterstock / Jade Prevost Manuel)

Today, June 5, is World Environment Day.

The annual event that has been observed since 1974 to raise awareness and encourage action against the issues threatening our natural world and climate. 

It’s an initiative created by the United Nations (UN) to give environmental outreach a global platform.

And over 150 countries are participating.

Each year, World Environment Day is hosted by a different country where the official celebrations take place.

The host country for 2022 is Sweden.

What is the theme for World Environment Day 2020?

The theme for this year is #OnlyOneEarth, which is a throwback to the first global environment gathering in 1972 which incidentally took place in Sweden.

2022 marks 50 years since the first international meeting on the environment in 1972-the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment.

‘Only One Earth’ was the slogan for the first United Nations Conference on the Human Environment that put sustainable development on the global agenda and led to the establishment of World Environment Day.

In1972, the Stockholm Conference spurred the formation of environment ministries and agencies around the world and kickstarted a host of new global agreements to collectively protect the environment.

The idea of World Environment Day was in fact formalized at the Stockholm Conference with the first one being celebrated in 1973. It was also where the goals of poverty alleviation and environmental protection became linked, paving the way for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Fifty years after the first conference, Sweden hosted Stockholm+50 on June 2 and 3, in the lead up to World Environment Day today.

With the UN officially warning us that the world was on a ‘fast track to climate disaster’, keeping global warming below 1.5°C this century is the apparent goal.

For this annual greenhouse gas emissions must be halved by 2030. Without action, exposure to air pollution beyond safe guidelines will increase by 50% within the decade and plastic waste flowing into aquatic ecosystems will nearly triple by 2040.

This year’s theme, ‘Only One Earth’ is a fitting one focusing on the urgency of addressing the climate emergency.

Due to the global pandemic, last year’s World Environment Day was largely celebrated online with digital events. This year will feature expert panels, exhibitions, film screenings and concerts across Sweden which can be found on worldenvironmentday.global.


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