International Day of Peace 2019: Climate Action for Peace

Today peace faces a new danger: the climate emergency, which threatens our security, our livelihoods, and our lives. That is why it is the focus of this year’s International Day of Peace. And it’s why I am convening a Climate Action Summit.

— UN Secretary-General António Guterres

On September 21st each year, International Day of Peace is observed around the world. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and people.

In 2015, the United Nations member states adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals. They knew that to build a peaceful world, there were necessary steps to achieve economic and social development for people everywhere. The goals address the challenges we all face, including poverty, peace, justice, environmental degradation, climate, and inequality to name a few. All of the goals are interconnected and the intention is that they will be achieved by the year 2030.

The 17 Sustainable Goals Are:

  1. No Poverty
  2. Zero Hunger
  3. Good Health and Well-Being
  4. Quality Education
  5. Gender Equality
  6. Clean Water and Sanitation
  7. Affordable and Clean Energy
  8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
  9. Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  10. Reduced Inequalities
  11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
  12. Responsible Consumption and Production
  13. Climate Action
  14. Life Below Water
  15. Life on Land
  16. Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
  17. Partnerships

This year, the focus is on goal number 13 with the theme “Climate Action for Peace.” It is an immediate call to spread education and awareness about climate change, to build resilience, and lower greenhouse emissions. The theme draws attention to the importance of taking action and fighting climate change as a way to promote and protect peace around the world. Affordable, innovative solutions like renewable energy, fuel-efficient vehicles, and clean technologies are available to help countries leap towards greener, more resilient economies.

It is not a secret that climate change is a clear and direct threat to international peace and security. Natural disasters displace three times as many people as conflicts, forcing millions to leave their homes and seek safety elsewhere. The salinization of water and crops is hindering, even endangering, our food security. Their impact is causing our public health to deteriorate. And the growing tensions over resources are affecting every country across the world.

Change only happens when individuals take action.

– Aliya Haq

Here Are 5 Ways to Combat Climate Change:

  1. Speak Up

The single most important way to spread awareness and to create positive change is to not stay quiet. Share your thoughts and feelings with your friends and family. Reach out to your representatives to ensure they are making the right decisions that directly impact our planet. When we share our concerns, we are saying that we care about our warming world and are taking a stand to do something about it.

  1. Use Better Lightbulbs and Unplug

Cheaper, in the long run, LED lightbulbs use about 80% less energy than incandescent light bulbs. We can unplug any devices not in use around our homes like chargers, audio and video devices, appliances, etc. This “idle load” in homes is equal to the output of 50 large power plants in the United States. Don\’t leave fully charged devices plugged into your home\’s outlets and unplug rarely used devices. Another option is to plug them into power strips and timers.

  1. Say “No” to Plastic

Plastics are not only harmful to humans but also to the health of biodiversity. If every person limited their use of plastics, it would exponentially reduce the level of pollution around the world. Some ways to eliminate the use of plastics are to use cloth bags for grocery shopping and to trade out plastic water bottles and containers for glass, stainless steel, or copper ones.

  1. Public Transportation

This is not only a smart choice to combat the issue of pollution but it’s also a great way to meet new people in our communities. Public transportation eases traffic congestion and helps us reach our destination more quickly. It also means less driving and less money spent on fuel.

  1. Stop Food Waste

From the food on our plates to the rotten food in the fridge, food wastage is a huge problem in the United States. About 40% of the food we purchase ends up in landfills. Additionally, roughly 10% of the U.S. energy goes into the growing, packaging, and shipping of food. Simply put, if we waste less food, we cut down on energy consumption.

– The Wellness Universe

Thank you to Rosi Goldsmith for her contribution to this article:

To bring about international peace in the face of the climate crisis means taking action on a global scale. At the same time, it also demands a change of consciousness. This is because the attitudes that have brought ecological destruction cannot bring healing. In fact, with the rapid decline of marine life, the warming oceans, toxic food, unbreathable air, undrinkable water, and deforestation of our planet’s lungs, only a radical shift in consciousness can reverse this downward trend and make our planet livable again.

Love, cooperation, resilience can replace greed, competition, and helplessness. This brings an extraordinary opportunity to evolve. What has been viewed as a catastrophe may demand of us that we reclaim our humanity. Let us seize this moment and grow in love, unite in consciousness, access our creativity, compassion, and goodness for the benefit of all. Let us create partnerships with nature. May we focus our minds and hearts to find new ways to live in harmony with each other. This is the fundamental basis for peace.

– Rosi

Thank you to Janette Stuart for her contribution to this article:

We can each positively affect a climate of peace on Earth by being peace ourselves. Ask yourselves, what can I do to put more peace into the world today? Affirm, let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me.

Blessings of love, joy, and peace.

– Janette



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