On April 22, nearly 200 governments from around the world are summoned to the United Nations headquarters in New York to sign the Paris climate agreement; the date coincides with Mother Earth Day, which this year is dedicated to trees, so the UN has asked citizens to show their support for the pact to combat climate change by planting, hugging or drawing a tree.
"Planting, hugging or drawing a tree to mark the signing of the Paris Agreement and to celebrate Mother Earth Day is an expression of solidarity, love and hope", says in a statement Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the Framework Convention of the United Nations on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The UN proposes three actions to citizens:
1. Plant a tree for the signing of the Paris Agreement and if possible put a small plaque.
2. Hug a tree and share the photo.
3. Make a drawing or a photo of your favorite tree.
Citizens can publish their images and texts on Facebook, Twitter or any other social network using the tags: # AcuedoDeParís # Trees4earth
There is a close link between the Paris Agreement and trees: they are key allies in combating climate change and achieving the long-term goal of restoring the ecological balance of planet Earth in the second half of the century.
Trees are also crucial to help meet the new Sustainable Development Goals, given their role in absorbing carbon, cleaning and cooling the air; acting as natural water extraction pumps to maintain river flows; stabilization of soils; or recycling nutrients for agriculture and sustaining wildlife habitats.
"The conservation, restoration and expansion of the Earth's natural infrastructure, including forests, play a great role in achieving the success of the long-term goal in the Paris Agreement," adds Figueres.
For her part, Kathleen Rogers, president of the Earth Day network, emphasizes that “trees and forests are the most vital weapon we have against climate change. We must reduce the amount of carbon we put into the atmosphere every day, but forests are the natural filter that will absorb and clean our air of the carbon we have already emitted. "
“For the Paris Agreement to have the expected effect, individuals and nations must plant trees and help us in our effort to achieve 7.8 billion trees by Earth Day 2020. Without these natural carbon sinks, without clean energy, smarter ways of doing business and without a clear commitment to solving the plight of the poor, the deal runs the risk of going up in smoke, "adds Rogers.
Next May, the UNFCCC secretariat will plant a tree in the headquarters grounds in Bonn, Germany, and install a plaque marking the Paris Agreement and Mother Earth Day.
Delegates from countries around the world will be present at the event, and they will come to Bonn for the preparatory conference for the Marrakesh climate summit, COP22.