In a world where nine out of ten people breathe polluted air, this World Environment Day on June 5, UN Environment is calling on the public to show the world that we care.
Air connects us all, without it, there can be no life. But today, this vital resource has become an invisible harmer, with pollutants clogging lungs and seeping into the bloodstreams of people all over the world – all whilst accelerating climate change and threatening the health of the planet.
Globally, 93 percent of all children live in environments where air pollution levels are above World Health Organisation guideline, resulting in around 600,000 premature deaths each year.
To show the world that action must be taken, participants and supporters of #BeatAirPollution are placing masks over their faces in a show of solidarity and commitment to help combat this global public health emergency. Whilst face masks do little to protect people from air pollution, they are a great symbol of how much we want to breathe clean air.
With celebrities around the world getting involved, including Ellie Goulding, Yaya Toure, Gisele Bündchen, UN Environment is now reaching out to the public to also champion the cause.
It’s easy to get involved and join the Mask Challenge:
- Ahead of June 5, simply post your pledge to support World Environment Day on social media, using a picture of yourself wearing a mask, and tag your friends to challenge them to do the same.
- On June 5, show the world what you’re doing to fulfil your commitment by posting a photo or video.
- Don’t forget to include #BeatAirPollution and #WorldEnvironmentDay in your post, and tag @UNEnvironment so make your impact known.
Since the first celebration of World Environment Day in 1974, June 5 has become the largest annual celebration of the environment, with millions of people joining in to leave a lasting legacy for the planet.