The 25th edition was hosted in Tromsø, Norway this past Wednesday, driving special awareness to the problem of melting ice caps in support of International Polar Year.

Norway was chosen as the host country for the annual even to highlight the global environmental impact of melting ice and snow. The 2007 theme focused on the effects that climate change is having on polar ecosystems and communities, and the impact on the rest of the world.

Nick Nuttall, spokesperson for United Nations Environment Programme

(UNEP) told edie: “This year, we wanted to make the link and increase the understanding of how this issue has grown, that melting ice and snow is not a remote issue. It’s relevant in Norway, as it is in the United Kingdom as well as Beijing.”

Norway is one of three countries that have – to date – announced that they want to go carbon-neutral by 2050. Costa Rica and New Zealand are the other two countries.

Around the world, people celebrated and discussed environmental issues – from street rallies to green concerts and tree planting to clean-up campaigns.

The environment and climate change were also at the top of the agenda at the G8 Summit in Germany, with leaders agreeing on ‘substantial cuts’ in greenhouse gases according to experts.

Nick Nuttall said: “This year’s summit has been an important milestone for emission reduction…it is clear that leaders full accept that the environment is a serious issue and this year we’ve experienced unprecedented momentum.”

In a move to encourage local environmental awareness and individual participation, British Climate Change and Environment Minister Ian Pearson asked people to mark World Environment Day by identifying the one change they can make in their everyday lives to protect the environment and fight climate change.

We are already feeling some of the effects of climate change – and that will inevitably increase,” Pearson said. “But if everyone acts now to help stop climate change, we can avoid its worst effects and reduce the level to which we need to adapt – both here in the UK and the support millions of people around the world will need.”

Nick Nuttall, spokesperson for UNEP, said: “It’s important to remember that we don’t want this to be about just one day of the year.”

Dana Gornitzki

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