Earth Day 2022 - live: Global protests staged as WHO says keep fossil fuels in ground

·11-min read

Global protests are taking place to mark Earth Day, a global event to celebrate and mobilise in support of protecting the environment.

This has included a blockade by Extinction Rebellion members at a printing works for major US newspapers - including The New York Times and Wall Street Journal - in a protest against media climate coverage. The group said 15 activists were arrested.

Other rallies are taking place across the US and the world, including planned demonstrations against Russian fossil fuels in Europe.

Many other events are being held across the globe to celebrate the 52nd annual event for the environment, including talks, film screenings and local litter picking events.

Earth Day 2022 has a theme of “Invest in our Planet” with a focus on encouraging individuals, businesses and world leaders to invest and switch to greener technologies and practices.

The World Health Organisation called for fossil fuels to “stay in the ground” to prevent air pollution as it tweeted about the annual day for the environment.

Key Points

  • Extinction Rebellion carries out blockade at US newspaper printing plant

  • Images from Extinction Rebellion newspaper plant blockade

  • Climate activists to protest against Russian fossil fuels

  • Keep fossil fuels in the ground, World Health Organisation says

  • What is Earth Day?

Goodbye

16:12 , Thomas Kingsley

We are now closing our Earth Day 2022 live blog. Thank you for following our coverage!

Britons least likely to be worried about climate crisis than other Europeans in YouGov poll

15:55 , Zoe Tidman

A YouGov poll for Earth Day has found most Europeans are worried about the climate crisis and its effects.

Interestingly, Britains were the least likely group to say this out of the others polled. Italians were the most likely:

Dalai Lama message on Earth Day

15:27 , Zoe Tidman

The Dalai Lama has called for steps to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, more renewable energy and more trees in a message on Earth Day.

“In my own life I have witnessed the decline in snowfall, first in Tibet and later in Dharamsala. Indeed, some scientists have told me that there is a risk of places like Tibet eventually becoming deserts,” he says.

“That is why I am committed to speaking out for the protection of Tibet’s fragile environment.”

US president comments on Earth Day

15:14 , Zoe Tidman

Keeping to the theme of this year’s event, Joe Biden says investing in climate resilience, infrastructure and clean energy can help to tackle the climate crisis:

‘How was the flight?'

15:09 , Zoe Tidman

Alok Sharma, the Cop26 president, has tweeted about marking Earth Day in Washington DC.

Some have been asking how he travelled there. “How was the flight?” one reply quipped.

Washington DC protest against fossil fuels

14:56 , Zoe Tidman

Activists have draped a “no new fossil fuels” banner off the Washington DC mayoral building:

Paul McCartney leads celebrities marking Earth Day

14:10 , Zoe Tidman

Celebrities are marking Earth Day on their social media. Here are a few here:

BREAKING: Extinction Rebellion block printers for US newspapers including NYT as Earth Day protests kick off

14:05 , Zoe Tidman

UN warning of triple environmental crisis

14:00 , Zoe Tidman

The United Nations has released a message for Earth Day, warning of a triple environmental crisis facing the planet;

Keep fossil fuels in the ground, World Health Organisation says

13:36 , Zoe Tidman

The World Health Organisation has said fossil fuels should stay “in the ground” for cleaner air in a tweet on Earth Day:

George Ezra donates to National Trust

13:05 , Katy Clifton

George Ezra donates to National Trust

George Ezra and YouTube have made a donation to the National Trust to plant around 17,000 trees across the UK.

The 28-year-old singer-songwriter, whose hits include Shotgun and Budapest, said he hoped to play a part in tackling the climate crisis and environmental decline.

The new woodland will lock in carbon, help reduce flooding and create homes for wildlife, the National Trust said.

The charity, founded in 1895, has committed to planting or establishing 20 million trees covering an area the size of Birmingham as part of its plan to become net-zero by 2030.

Read more below:

George Ezra donates to National Trust to plant 17,000 trees across UK

Bangkok protests

12:47 , Zoe Tidman

Protesters have taken to the streets in Bangkok in Thailand for Earth Day.

See here:

Environmental activists hold a sign during an Earth Day rally in Bangkok (Getty Images)
Environmental activists hold a sign during an Earth Day rally in Bangkok (Getty Images)
Activists take to the streets in Bangkok for Earth Day 2022 (Getty Images)
Activists take to the streets in Bangkok for Earth Day 2022 (Getty Images)

Rail travel Q&A event with expert Simon Calder

12:24 , Zoe Tidman

What better time to delve into the world of one of the greenest forms of travel on Earth Day?

This is exactly what our travel Simon Calder will be doing this afternoon. He will be on hand to answer all your rail travel questions in an ‘Ask me anything’ event today between 1 and 2pm.

Find more information on how to get involved here:

Ask Me Anything: Simon Calder to answer your travel questions live on Earth Day

US president marks Earth Day will landmark order on old-growth forests

12:10 , Zoe Tidman

The US president is marking Earth Day with a trip to lush but fire-prone Washington state and the signing of an executive order to protect old-growth forests.

This order create the first-ever inventory of old-growth forests - key to absorbing carbon dioxide from the air - on federal lands and develop a plan to conserve them.

It will also task diplomats with doing more to combat deforestation abroad, the White House said.

Reuters

Time-lapseimages show impact of climate crisis

11:55 , Zoe Tidman

New time-lapse images released by Google to mark Earth Day have revealed the devastating impact of climate change around the world.

Satellite pictures for the 2022 Earth Day Google doodle reveal melting glaciers, deforestation and coral bleaching in the past few decades.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain has the full story:

Google releases time-lapse pictures showing impact of climate change

Keep on top of climate news

11:42 , Zoe Tidman

If you want to keep updated on the latest climate news, you can sign up the The Independent’s free newsletter here:

Sign up to The Independent Climate Newsletter for free weekly updates on the environmental emergency

Climate crisis demands system-wide change - here is how to help

11:38 , Zoe Tidman

If you are looking for how to help the environment to tackle the climate crisis this Earth Day, look no further.

“In a world built around fossil fuels, it’s much harder to opt out of pollution and emissions than it is to opt in,” Ethan Freedman, our climate reporter, writes.

“But here’s what is possible: pressuring your government, political leaders and public officials to making sweeping changes on climate, from city infrastructure to national energy policy.”

He takes a look at how to help set system-wide change in motion here:

How to make leaders listen on the climate emergency

How to avoid the greenwash while trying to invest in the planet

11:28 , Zoe Tidman

The theme of this Earth Day is all about investing in the planet.

Money editor Kate Hughes writes: “When it comes to the financial world, plagued by perhaps the most rampant greenwashing of any industry, that seems a deliberately difficult task.”

She has put together a guide to help navigate this:

Earth Day 2022: How to invest in our planet

Why have XR launched a blockade on US newspaper printing plant?

11:04 , Zoe Tidman

The group have released a statement explaining the blockade, aimed at disrupting the distribution of three major US titles: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.

Extinction Rebellion NYC said:

“By failing to cover the climate emergency with the depth and frequency it warrants, the media is enabling the government’s gaslighting of the public – making it easy for government to act like the climate and ecological crisis is years away, ignore scientists’ urgent calls to action, and refuse to take the steps we need to start transforming our systems from finite and fragile to strong and resilient.”

Its full statement on the protest is here:

Poems for Earth Day

10:47 , Zoe Tidman

Earth Day is supposed to offer us an opportunity to celebrate our planet, and not merely serve as another day to remind us how badly we are abusing it, Harry Cockburn, our environment correspondent, writes.

To emphasise that what we have is worth taking concerted action to protect, writers for The Independent have chosen some of their favourite poems which relate in some way to the natural world.

Take a look:

Poems to celebrate Earth Day 2022, selected by Independent writers

What can you do to help the climate movement? A youth activist explains

10:33 , Zoe Tidman

Scarlett Westbrook, a youth climate activist, has written for The Independent this Earth Day.

If you’re wondering what you can do to help the environmental movement and what it is in the works, this is the piece for you.

Have a read here:

Opinion: For young activists like me, Earth Day means not giving up hope

Images from XR protest at US newspaper printing plant

09:47 , Zoe Tidman

Heading back to the US, here are some pictures from the Extinction Rebellion blockade at the US newspaper printing facility:

Environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion sets up a blockade in front of the New York Times printing plant (Getty Images)
Environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion sets up a blockade in front of the New York Times printing plant (Getty Images)
Activists from Extinction Rebellion take part in an Earth Day demonstration blockading the gate of The New York Times Distribution print facility (REUTERS)
Activists from Extinction Rebellion take part in an Earth Day demonstration blockading the gate of The New York Times Distribution print facility (REUTERS)
An activist from Extinction Rebellion takes part in an Earth Day demonstration blockading the gate of the New York Times Distribution print facility (REUTERS)
An activist from Extinction Rebellion takes part in an Earth Day demonstration blockading the gate of the New York Times Distribution print facility (REUTERS)

Seminal moments in the climate movement over the past 52 years

09:00 , Zoe Tidman

Today marks the 52nd time Earth Day has been celebrated across the globe.

Many key moments in the environmental movement have happened in this time, including historic agreements and waves of people joining the campaign against the climate crisis.

Myself and Louise Boyle, our senior climate correspondent in New York, have taken a look at them for Earth Day:

Earth Day: Looking back at the seminal climate moments over the last 52 years

XR ‘blocks printing plants’ for US newspapers

08:52 , Zoe Tidman

Over in the US, Extinction Rebellion have brought in Earth Day 2022 with protests.

The group says it has disrupted the printing plants for major newspapers in protest against climate coverage:

South Korea activists protest with plastic waste

08:36 , Zoe Tidman

But before this kicks off in Europe, let’s go to the other side of the world where protests have already been happening.

This Earth Day, environmental activists in Seoul in South Korea have lay down on the floor with plastic bags over their heads in a demonstration against the climate crisis.

South Korean environmental activists lie on the ground with plastic waste during a campaign marking Earth Day against climate change (AFP via Getty Images)
South Korean environmental activists lie on the ground with plastic waste during a campaign marking Earth Day against climate change (AFP via Getty Images)
South Korean environmental activists lie on the ground with plastic waste during a campaign marking Earth Day at a park along the Han River in Seoul (AFP via Getty Images)
South Korean environmental activists lie on the ground with plastic waste during a campaign marking Earth Day at a park along the Han River in Seoul (AFP via Getty Images)

Climate activists to protest against Russian fossil fuels

08:24 , Zoe Tidman

Climate activists are set to protest outside Germany government and embassy buildings across Europe on Earth Day 2022 as they call for stronger action against Russian fossil fuels.

Activists in Berlin, Warsaw, Brussels and elsewhere are expected to hand out red-stained roubles to symbolize blood covering a currency they say is fuelling both climate change and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Germany is one of the EU countries opposed to an embargo on Russian oil and gas for fear of damage to their economies.

Watch this space for pictures and details of the protests later today.

What is Earth Day?

08:10 , Zoe Tidman

Before Earth Day 2022 properly kicks off, let’s quickly remind ourselves of what the yearly event is.

In short, it is a day that every year offers people around the world a chance to focus on the planet and the challenges facing it.

Ethan Freedman, our climate reporter in New York, explains in full:

Everything you need to know about Earth Day 2022

08:06 , Zoe Tidman

Good morning and welcome to our live coverage as the world marks Earth Day 2022.

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