Why Earth Day Matters Now More than Ever

ByTao Jingwen

April 21, 2020

Tao Jingwen

2020 has so far taught us the painful lesson of how quickly a global crisis can sweep past borders and become pervasive. While lockdown, social distancing, and self-isolation have become part of the global vernacular, humanity doesn’t exist in isolation – even if today we may feel farther apart than ever.

We share one planet and we depend on it to thrive. That’s why I believe the current situation illuminates another global threat – the one that exists to the health of our planet. Pressing the pause button on much of human activity due to the pandemic has had an unintended consequence on air pollution and the environment, bringing into sharp relief the impact of human activity when it’s business as usual. NASA reports that with lockdown keeping people at home, the northeast of the US has seen a 30% drop in pollution and that airborne nitrogen dioxide – a usually clear indicator of human activity – has plummeted in China.

Source: nasa.gov

So, How Can We Respond to Climate Change?

The first step is to acknowledge that it’s not a future problem that’s decades away. Climate change is already having a noticeable impact on the Earth, manifested by increases in extreme weather conditions, droughts, wildfires, and more intense tropical storms that push farther inland due to continually rising sea levels. In the longer term, if we don’t act and act quickly on a global scale, it’s possible that we will see more incidents of asset destruction, displaced populations, accelerated extinctions, water scarcity, and other serious environmental outcomes – all of which will add up to a huge socioeconomic impact.

Response during the Pandemic

While global collaboration and the technological ability to shift aspects of life online during the pandemic are encouraging, an analysis of humanity’s response when the curve has flattened still raises questions about our universal preparedness to deal with global issues like climate change.

How aware are we of the extent and timeframe of climate change? Have we planned to meaningfully mitigate it? Can we mount a coordinated a global response to implement these plans?

Our collective response needs to prioritize mitigation and adaptation, covering transitions in land use and ecosystems, energy, urban spaces and infrastructure, and industrial systems.

We’re a technology company and we’re not able to solve climate change alone. But what we have been doing is working towards boosting the potential of ICT to build a greener world. We believe that technology can have a meaningful impact on the environment, both in developing green technologies and applying nascent technology to combating problems like deforestation, declining biodiversity, and more. Technology is part of the puzzle, but the key to the puzzle is acting together and working towards a common goal.

Earth Day 2020

Climate action is the theme of this year’s Earth Day on April 22, 2020. Unlike the pandemic, it cannot be solved by isolation, a vaccine, or immunity. But like the pandemic, combating climate change requires a global commitment to collaboration, sharing resources, and planning ahead.

Make sure you click the Earth Day Link above to see how you can get involved.

To find out more about what we’re doing in this space, visit our TECH4ALL minisite to find out about Huawei’s Environment4ALL climate change initiatives – non-profit projects that we run with our partners to help conserve natural resources, protect endangered species, and prevent natural disasters.

And make sure you subscribe to this blog to keep up to date with the latest posts on our green technologies. We all need to play a part, both individuals and organizations.

Disclaimer: Any views and/or opinions expressed in this post by individual authors or contributors are their personal views and/or opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of Huawei Technologies.

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Tao Jingwen

Director of the Board and Director of the Corporate Sustainable Development Committee, Huawei

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