WASHINGTON, D.C. — EARTHDAY.ORG along with lead organizers Education International, Hip Hop Caucus, and Earth Uprising are organizing three separate parallel climate action summits on April 20 and 21 ahead of the Biden Administration’s global leaders’ climate summit. The parallel summits are focused respectively on climate literacy, environmental justice, and a broad range of youth-led climate-focused issues. Earth Week will also bring thousands of groups and millions of voices together to stand up for climate action and bring awareness to humanity’s greatest existential threat. On Earth Day, EARTHDAY.ORG will bring together its partners, activists, educators, researchers, musicians, artists, influencers and more for its second-annual Earth Day Live.
“This Earth Day, we have an important opportunity to challenge world leaders to see climate change for what it is – a pressing global security threat, one that threatens everyone and everything but particularly our most vulnerable people and places,” said Kathleen Rogers, President of EARTHDAY.ORG.
The three days of climate action begin on April 20th with the global youth climate summit led by Earth Uprising, in collaboration with My Future My Voice, OneMillionOfUs and hundreds of youth climate activists. The global youth summit will consist of panels, speeches, discussions, and special messages with today’s youth climate activists including Greta Thunberg, Alexandria Villaseñor, and Licypriya Kangujam. The four-hour digital summit will address the progress that has been made on their main issues of concern, including the creation of green jobs, climate literacy, civic skill training, environmental justice, biodiversity protection and sustainable agriculture. In the lead up to the event, the youth organizers will put together a short list of demands that they want addressed at the Biden Administration’s climate summit.
“President Biden bringing together world leaders to discuss climate change on Earth Day is a major turning point in global climate action! This youth-led summit will bring together global youth climate activists to prepare a message for President Biden on the eve of his historic summit. Youth around the world are experiencing some of the worst effects of climate change right now. We’re suffering from extreme weather, pollution, civil unrest, and the loss of lives and livelihoods. Our summit will identify the key issues and solutions most important to youth. The future of our generation is at stake and it’s important for our voices to be heard!” said Alexandria Villaseñor, Founder of Earth Uprising.
“World leaders need to see climate change as an urgent political issue. The world is already experiencing adverse extreme weather events like floods, droughts, heat waves, cyclones, locusts and extremely polluted air at the same time. These are all the impacts of climate change. The United States must take a leadership role in the shift to sustainable production and consumption to end this crisis and shift from the carbon economy to the green economy. It must put in place policy that would draw investment into resource efficiency and reduction of waste. In doing so, it will provide a template for other developing countries as well,” said Licypriya Kangujam, 9-year-old Climate & Environmental Activist.
In the evening on April 20, the Hip Hop Caucus and its partners will present the “We Shall Breathe” virtual summit. This digital event will examine climate and environmental justice, connecting the climate crisis to issues of pollution, poverty, police brutality, and the pandemic, all within a racial justice framework.
“Climate and environmental justice were on the ballot in November. The same Black and Brown voters that decided the election for President Biden, are the same communities that have been most impacted by environmental injustice and who are most threatened by climate disaster. This Earth Day, we expect President Biden to reinforce our affirmation that ‘We Shall Breathe’ by announcing bold climate action based on equity and justice domestically and globally,” said Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., President and Founder, Hip Hop Caucus.
On April 21, Education International will lead the “Teach for the Planet: Global Education Summit.” The multilingual virtual summit will span several time zones and feature prominent activists from every continent, focused on the crucial role that educators play in combating climate change and why we need transformative climate education now.
Susan Hopgood, President of Education International, said, “The fight against climate change must have an education face and a teacher’s voice in every area of the world. The planet is in crisis and I strongly believe that teachers and educators have a critical role to play in combating the environmental destruction, human suffering and social injustice that will certainly occur if climate change continues at current rates.”
“Teachers know that the most important long-term investment our societies can make towards a sustainable future is ensuring every student is literate about climate science and equipped with the civic knowledge and skills to change course,” said David Edwards, General Secretary, Education International. “All world leaders must commit to creating the necessary educational space and resources so that students learn the world’s most important lesson. In launching this campaign, the world’s educators are determined to realize our students’ right to know, do and exist.”
Parallel to the Biden Administration’s global climate summit, EARTHDAY.ORG will produce its second Earth Day Live digital event on April 22. The multi-hour multi-channel livestream will include segments taking place around the world starting at noon Eastern Time. Workshops, panel discussions, and special performances will focus on Earth Day’s 2021 theme, Restore Our Earth, which examines natural processes, emerging green technologies, and innovative thinking that can restore the world’s ecosystems. Topics will include climate and environmental literacy, climate restoration technologies, reforestation efforts, regenerative agriculture, equity and environmental justice, citizen science, cleanups, and beyond. World climate leaders, grassroots activists, nonprofit innovators, thought leaders, industry leaders, artists, musicians, influencers, and more will be involved.
For more information about Earth Day 2021, please visit: https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-2021/
EARTHDAY.ORG’s mission is to diversify, educate, and activate the environmental movement worldwide. Growing out of the first Earth Day (1970), EARTHDAY.ORG is the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, working with more than 50,000 partners in nearly 192 countries to build environmental democracy. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. Learn more at: https://www.earthday.org
About Hip Hop Caucus
Formed in 2004, the Hip Hop Caucus (HHC) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that leverages Hip Hop culture to encourage young people to participate in the democratic process. Through a collaborative leadership network, HHC addresses core issues affecting underserved communities. HHC programs and campaigns support solution-driven community organizing led by today’s young leaders. Learn more at: www.hiphopcaucus.org
About Education International
Education International is the global voice of educators and the world’s largest, most representative global organization of education unions. With more than 32.5 million members in 384 organizations in 178 countries and territories, Education International works to promote peace, democracy, social justice and equity through education and the collective strength of teachers and education employees. Learn more at: https://www.ei-ie.org
About Earth Uprising
Earth Uprising is a global, youth-led non-profit organization focused on climate education, climate advocacy, and youth mobilization. Through its strong network of activists from all around the world, partnerships with other groups, and local, national, and international campaigns and actions, it aims to bring attention to, and spur action based on the latest science regarding the climate crisis. Earth Uprising provides the tools, resources, and connections young people need to take direct action in their communities. Learn more at earthuprising.org