Earth Day Network, the global organizer of Earth Day, said on Tuesday that in response to the COVID-19 pandemic it will implement a global digital mobilization on April 22 to address urgent threats to people and the planet. This will mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

Areas of the world are being affected by the pandemic differently; as a result, Earth Day Network urges everyone to assess their situation individually and follow advice from the World Health Organization, United States Centers for Disease and local authorities.

“At Earth Day Network, the health and safety of volunteers and participants in Earth Day events is our top concern. Amid the recent outbreak, we encourage people to rise up but to do so safely and responsibly — in many cases, that means using our voices to drive action online rather than in person,” said Kathleen Rogers, President of Earth Day Network.

“Whether it be coronavirus or our global climate crisis, we cannot shut down,” said Rogers, adding, “instead, we must shift our energies and efforts to new ways to mobilize the world to action.”

Earth Day’s new digital-first strategy aims to leverage the global power of digital media platforms to engage a collective call for transforming our planet. This Earth Day will be unlike any other in history.

#EarthDay2020 and #EARTHRISE can be shared to be part of the global conversation and Earth Day Network (@earthdaynetwork) will be providing live coverage of the digital mobilizations.

The goal of Earth Day is to unite hundreds of millions of people around the world to pressure world leaders to act on environmental degradation and climate change. This goal will stay the same despite digitalization.

“Our current pandemic demonstrates that governments must embrace science early. As we see now, many governments were slow to respond or even indifferent about the science of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Rogers. “But the last few weeks have also demonstrated that our society, even at the international level, is capable of mass shifts across all sectors to meet a crisis head-on. We must apply the same scale and urgency of our response to climate change.”

Earth Day Network will be postponing its live 50th anniversary event on the National Mall, moving the global event to October 24-25, 2020. However, some of the digital events will include virtual protests, social media campaigns and online teach-ins.

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