Maximpact Blog

Earth Day, Earth Week: Earth Day Every Day

Captured by the EPIC instrument on the DSCOVR spacecraft, this image shows how Earth looked from more than 950,000 miles, or 1.5 million kilometers, away during a total solar eclipse visible only in Antarctica. December 4, 2021. (Photo courtesy NASA) public domain

By Sunny Lewis for Maximpact

WASHINGTON, DC, April 22, 2023 ( Sustainability News) – Earth Day is held each year on April 22 to show support for environmental protection. First held 53 years ago, on April 22, 1970, it now includes a hundreds of events coordinated globally by here in Washington, working with 150,000+ partners in 193 countries to build environmental democracy.

The official theme for Earth Day 2023 is Invest In Our Planet. One billion people are expected to participate. 

David Malpass, president of the World Bank Group, addresses World Bank employees on his first day on the job. April 9, 2019 Washington, DC (Photo by Simone D. McCourtie courtesy World Bank Group) Creative Commons license via Flickr

One of the billion participants is World Bank Group President David Malpass of the United States.

This energy transition, especially in developing countries, is much on Malpass’s mind this Earth Day. It will require an unprecedented transformation of the power infrastructure, with scaling up of energy efficiency and renewables and a phase down of coal-fired electricity. 

From his office in Washington, DC, Malpass said, “The World Bank Group is supporting reforms to strengthen the energy sector and business environment, investments in new capacity and energy efficiency, grid upgrades to absorb intermittent renewables, and funding and technical support to address the social challenges of the transition.”

The World Bank has proposed a new framework for this energy transition, cleverly named “Scaling Up to Phase Down.” It identifies financing challenges and steps that lead toward a comprehensive financing approach.

Without the means to fund an energy transition and network infrastructure, developing countries often pay more than other countries for electricity. They cannot access energy efficiency or renewable energy projects, and they are locked into fossil fuel projects with high and volatile costs.

In essence, the World Bank explains, “they face a triple penalty for their energy transition that becomes a poverty trap.”

The World Bank Group estimates that low- and middle-income countries host 89 percent of the estimated $1 trillion in global coal-fired power generation at risk of being stranded by the energy transition.

Three key barriers prevent developing countries from accelerating their energy transitions. 

First, renewable energy projects entail prohibitively high upfront capital costs, and many countries lock themselves into costly and high carbon energy choices with inefficient energy subsidies.

Second, developing countries face a high cost of capital that distorts their investment choices away from renewables. 

And third, weak energy sector fundamentals – especially institutional capacities – hinder the scaling of the transition.

The last rays of an orbital sunset illuminate the Earth’s atmosphere in this photograph from the International Space Station as it orbited 269 miles above the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Argentina. Feb. 17, 2023 (Photo courtesy NASA) Public domain

The Scaling Up to Phase Down framework distils the energy transition into a “virtuous cycle” of six steps that are the foundation for overcoming barriers to the transition to renewable energy. 

The cycle starts with government leadership, a supportive regulatory environment, increasingly capable institutions, and instruments to minimize risks, followed by transparent and competitive project allocation, which can deliver renewable energy that serves urgent needs, including energy security, energy affordability, and jobs. 

“Widespread energy transformation in developing countries requires continuous, strategic engagement and far more coordination among governments, investors, and partners than exists presently,” said World Bank Vice President for Infrastructure Guangzhe Chen. “The World Bank can play a vital role in getting the virtuous cycle started through supporting governments with low-cost and concessional climate finance for transition preparation, utility and network strengthening, and funding affordable clean energy investments.”

“Scaling Up to Phase Down” offers solutions for the politically and financially complex challenge of phasing out coal-fired power. 

The World Bank advises, “Deeper planning can help mitigate stranded asset risks. Refinancing of coal plant liabilities can move retirement dates forward. Workers and communities that base their livelihoods on the coal economy must be ensured a just transition. Concessional support is needed to help countries capture more of the global benefits associated with coal phase down as a global public good.”

Earth Day Hosts Earth Week

Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day. May 7, 2019, from the Norwegian podcast Klimatekot’s interview with her at the We Don’t Have Time Climate Conference on Earth Day 2019. (Screengrab from video courtesy Klimatekot) Posted for media use

Kathleen Rogers is another of the one billion people expected to participate in Earth Day 2023. For the past 20 years, this environmental attorney has served as Earth Day’s president, and she has stretched the NGO’s reach right around the world.

“By engaging governments, businesses, institutions, and the more than one billion people who participate in Earth Day annually we can solve the world’s greatest problem: climate change.” said Rogers. “There is unlimited opportunity to right the wrongs of past actions and build a new version of society. But, we have a very short window of time and we need everyone to Invest in Our Planet now!”

This year Rogers introduced Earth Day’s formal sponsorship of Earth Week. Consisting of a series of Earth Day Lives and mobilizing the masses through major events in every time zone, Earth Week will pioneer’s farthest reaching efforts to date by amplifying inspiration and action from April 14th to April 22nd worldwide.

“Originating from the first virtual celebration of Earth Day in 2020, the Earth Day Live event series explores Earth’s urgent environmental issues and examines a variety of approaches to protect our shared home,” she said. 

Topics for the first formal Earth Week, April 14-22, included climate restoration, regenerative agriculture, environment and social justice, supply chain resilience, plastic pollution, resource scarcity, food security, the green economy, biodiversity restoration, universal climate literacy, and more. Panelists ranged from public and private sector leaders to activists, scientists, and thought leaders. 

Another of the one billion Earth Day participants this year is Councillor Jack Sekwaila, a member of the Mayoral Committee for Environment and Infrastructure Services Department in the City of Johannesburg, South Africa. 

On April 21, Councillor Sekwaila led a clean-up campaign under the banner of “War on Waste in Hillbrow,” an inner city residential neighbourhood of Johannesburg, known for its close-packed population density, unemployment, poverty, and crime. Government employees, environmental groups and concerned citizens cleared illegal dumping sites, swept streets and planted trees.

Sekwaila said, “Communities are starting to see the value of a cleaner environment. [The City’s official waste management service provider] Pikitup cannot ensure a cleaner Joburg without the assistance of the residents and local stakeholders.” 

And in the Hawaiian Islands, another one of the billion Earth Day 2023 participants is Keone Kealoha, executive director of the Honolulu nonprofit Kanu Hawaii. For Earth Day, April 22 he is organizing what he hopes will be the world’s largest dive will take place with over 700 divers expected to join in support of The Pledge to Our Keiki [the Hawaiian word for children] <,mindful%20of%20where%20I%20explore.>

Kealoha is hoping that the massive dive cleanup will turn out to be the largest event in Hawaii history. The divers and other volunteers are trying to set a new Guinness World Record for largest cleanup, removing personal and industrial garbage littering Hawaii’s shorelines, reefs and coastal waters on the islands of Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii.

“Jump in the water and the place that you care about and your backyard and your bit of the ocean and do what you can in collaboration with this global effort,” Kealoha urged.

Events By the Hundred Across the Planet

In tandem with the virtual events, is working with individuals and organizations globally to host thousands of in-person cleanups, rallies, celebrations, and protests across each time zone. 

In London an Earth Day Sing will be held at Huntress Fountain in Hyde Park. The organizers invite everyone to celebrate Earth Day with them as they serenade “the land, trees, birds and nature that exists in the great metropolis that is our capital city. All voices welcome. “All that we ask is you come with open hearts, minds and be ready to enjoy yourselves as we connect with the earth,” the invitation reads.

More than 100,000 people are expected to take to the London streets to demand action against the climate crisis.

Across China, all week in primary schools, technical schools and universities, students are holding cleanups, seminars and webinars about climate and other environmental issues to celebrate Earth Day.

In Japan, on April 15-16, Earth Day Tokyo’s “Workers’ Co-op Village” adopted the mantra “Let’s create together! A ‘circle’ connecting people and nature,” in harmony with Earth Day Tokyo’s theme “Family Earth: A Welcoming and Gentle Place for All.” With 14 booths and 20 mini-stages, the Workers’ Co-op unveiled an intricate tapestry of cooperative labor, solutions to the climate crisis, familial support systems, children’s autonomy, and community bonds. 

And in the US state of Massachusetts, the Earth Day Extravaganza is a celebration of climate positivity and all the wonderful things Earth has to offer. On the University of Massachusetts campus, in the Amherst Area, and in the greater Pioneer Valley, the residents are celebrating with artisans, craftspeople, and representatives from sustainability and cultural organizations. Follow @sunriseumass on Instagram <> for the most up to date information about UMass Earth Week and the Earth Day Extravaganza!

One of the most northerly Earth Day events is happening in Iceland on April 23. Landeyjarfjara Beach will be cleaner after Midgard Adventure and volunteers from the community of Hvolsvöllur remove trash and debris with the help of the Icelandic Blue Army and SEEDS-Volunteers. 

Check out the Global Events Map  <> to find events near you. 

In Washington, DC on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, at 2:00pm Eastern Time, the week culminates in the Earth Day Fiesta with the theme of Collective Advocacy for Climate Action.

Earth Day Gives Rise to Earth Month

The celebration of Planet Earth is not over on April 22, the official Earth Day. It continues all during April and on into the future. In fact, organizers now often use the tag line, “Earth Day, Every Day.”

UN General Assembly in 2009 designated April 22 as International Mother Earth Day, but this year’s events actually begin on Monday, April 24. On that day, interactive dialogue will be streamed from 10 am – 1 pm, New York Time through UN WebTV. Speakers will discuss how to live in harmony with nature instead of adopting a human-centered view in our relationship with Mother Earth. The UN says that the Harmony with Nature interactive dialogues have allowed policymakers to learn about methods that integrate the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. United Nations Earth-centered events continue through July 4, 2023.

To learn more about the top 10 events of Earth Day 2023, please visit:

To become involved, utilize’s Earth Day 2023 Social Media Toolkit and Earth Day Action Toolkit to learn how to join one of the world’s largest environmental movements.  

For more information about Earth Day 2023, please visit: