Sweden to host World Environment Day 2022

  • World Environment Day 2022 theme, ‘Only One Earth’, focuses on living sustainably in harmony with nature
  • 2022 marks 50 years since Stockholm Conference which led to the designation of 5 June as World Environment Day

Nairobi, 18 November 2021 – The Government of the Sweden will host World Environment Day 2022 in partnership with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). The year 2022 marks 50 years since the first United Nations Conference on the Human Environment – the 1972 Stockholm Conference that led to the creation of UNEP and designating 5 June every year as World Environment Day.

World Environment Day 2022 will be held under the theme Only One Earth, highlighting the need to live sustainably in harmony with nature by bringing transformative changes – through policies and our choices – towards cleaner, greener lifestyles. Only One Earth was the motto for the 1972 Stockholm Conference; 50 years on, the motto holds true – this planet is our only home, whose finite resources humanity must safeguard.

Minister for Environment and Climate and Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden Per Bolund said: “As a proud host of 2022 World Environment Day, Sweden will highlight the most pressing environmental concerns, showcase our country’s initiatives and the global efforts of addressing the climate and nature crises. We invite the global community across the world to join in the important discussions and celebrations.”

According to UNEP’s Making Peace with Nature report issued earlier this year, transforming social and economic systems means improving our relationship with nature, understanding its value and putting that value at the heart of decision making.

“In 2022, we hope to see a world turning the corner on the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. But we do so with the knowledge that we continue to face the triple planetary crises of climate change, nature loss, and pollution,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP. “Sweden’s announcement – and a World Environment Day theme that puts nature and people at the centre of environmental work – reminds us of the roots of the critical work of protecting our environment and injects vital impetus to global efforts to build back better and greener.”

“Since hosting the Stockholm Conference five decades ago, Sweden has made meaningful strides and record investments towards environmental protection, including a long-term climate goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2045 and negative emissions thereafter,” she added. “Its welcome role as host of the World Environment Day in 2022 is therefore a reflection of both an historical commitment and leadership and a high level of ambition for the future.”

World Environment Day takes place every year on 5 June. It is the United Nations’ flagship day for promoting worldwide awareness and action for the environment. Over the years, it has grown to be the largest global platform for environmental public outreach and is celebrated by millions of people across the world.

In addition, in 2022, the Government of Sweden will host Stockholm+50, an international meeting to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Stockholm Conference and to accelerate implementation to deliver on the 2030 Agenda and achieve sustainable recovery from COVID-19.

Stockholm+50 will provide an opportunity for the international community to strengthen cooperation and show leadership in the transformation towards a more sustainable society, in line with the declaration that was recently adopted in conjunction with the marking of the 75th anniversary of the UN.

The 1972 Stockholm Conference resulted in the Stockholm Declaration on the Human Environment, including several guiding principles on global environmental governance. Another result of the meeting was the establishment of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and World Environment Day.

NOTES TO EDITORS

About World Environment Day

World Environment Day is the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment. Held annually since 1974, the Day has also become a vital platform for promoting progress on the environmental dimensions of the Sustainable Development Goals. With the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) at the helm, over 150 countries participate each year. Major corporations, non-governmental organizations, communities, governments and celebrities from across the world adopt the World Environment Day brand to champion environmental causes.

About the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

UNEP is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

For more information, please contact:

Keishamaza Rukikaire, Head of News & Media, UN Environment Programme
Josefin Sasse, Press Secretary to Per Bolund, Minister for the Environment and Climate, and Deputy Prime Minister, Tel +46 73 0779469

Source: UNEP.ORG

Textile Recycling, the way to go

TEXTILE RECYCLING

What you need to know.

One garbage truck of clothes is burned or sent to landfills every second!

The average consumer bought 60 percent more clothes in 2014 than in 2000, but kept each garment for half as long. 

Think about how many sweaters, scarves and other clothes were given as gifts this holiday season. How many times will people wear them before throwing them out? Probably far fewer than you think.

Gone are the days when people would buy a shirt and wear it for years. In a world of accelerating demand for apparel, consumers want—and can increasingly afford—new clothing after wearing garments only a few times. Entire business models are built on the premise of “fast fashion,” providing clothes cheaply and quickly to consumers through shorter fashion cycles.

This linear fashion model of buying, wearing and quickly discarding clothes negatively impacts people and the planet’s resources. Here’s a look at the economic, social and environmental implications:

The Economics

According to the Ellen McArthur Foundation, clothing production has approximately doubled in the last 15 years, driven by a growing middle-class population across the globe and increased per capita sales in developed economies. An expected 400 percent increase in world GDP by 2050 will mean even greater demand for clothing.

This could be an opportunity to do better. One report found that addressing environmental and social problems created by the fashion industry would provide a $192 billion overall benefit to the global economy by 2030. The annual value of clothing discarded prematurely is more than $400 billion.

The Environmental Impacts

Apparel production is also resource- and emissions-intensive.

Consider that:

  • Making a pair of jeans produces as much greenhouse gases as driving a car more than 80 miles.
  • Discarded clothing made of non-biodegradable fabrics can sit in landfills for up to 200 years.
  • It takes 2,700 liters of water to make one cotton shirt, enough to meet the average person’s drinking needs for two-and-a-half years.

The Societal Impacts

Clothing production has helped spur growth in developing economies, but a closer look reveals a number of social challenges. For instance:

  • According to non-profit Remake, 75 million people are making our clothes today, and 80 percent of apparel is made by young women between the ages of 18 and 24.
  • Garment workers, primarily women, in Bangladesh make about $96 per month. The government’s wage board suggested that a garment worker needs 3.5 times that amount in order to live a “decent life with basic facilities.”
  • A 2018 U.S. Department of Labor report found evidence of forced and child labor in the fashion industry in Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Turkey, Vietnam and other countries.

Rapid consumption of apparel and the need to deliver on short fashion cycles stresses production resources, often resulting in supply chains that put profits ahead of human welfare.

So, What Do We Do?
So, what does a more sustainable apparel industry look like, and how do we get there? We’re starting to see some  early signs of an industry in transition. Business models based on longevity, such as Rent the Runway and Gwynnie Bee, are the beginnings of an industry that supports reuse instead of rapid and irresponsible consumption. Just as Netflix re-imagined traditional film rental services and Lyft disrupted transportation, we are beginning to see options for consumers to lease clothes rather than buy and stash them in their closets. Ideally, an “end of ownership” in apparel will be implemented in a way that considers impacts on jobs, communities and the environment.

This is only the beginning of the radical transformation required. Apparel companies will increasingly have to confront the elephant in the boardroom and decouple their business growth from resource use.

To meet tomorrow’s demand for clothing in innovative ways, companies will need to do what they have never done before: design, test and invest in business models that reuse clothes and maximize their useful life. For apparel companies, it’s time to disrupt or be disrupted.

Article Credit: World Economic Forum