Masters of Health Magazine May 2018 - Page 26

By Kathleen Rogers

President

Earth Day Network

Kathleen Rogers, President of Earth Day Network, has worked for more than 20 years as an environmental attorney and advocate, focusing on international and domestic environmental public policy and law. Under her leadership, EDN has developed a significant role in advancing the new green economy and has emerged as a dynamic year-round policy and activist organization.

The approach of another Earth Day provides an opportunity to assess where the planet is heading and what we are doing to move it in the right direction. At Earth Day Network (EDN), we believe that everyone has an equal right to a clean environment, not just as a matter of health and well-being. A clean environment is a matter of social justice.

Climate change affects everyone, but the majority of adverse effects are experienced by poor people around the world. According to the United Nations Development Program, those least responsible for greenhouse gas emissions suffer 99% of the casualties attributable to climate change. Right now, the world has the obligation to transform the energy systems contributing to record-breaking temperatures, devastating droughts, storms and wildfires we’ve seen over the past decade. We need to end fossil fuel dependence and embrace a 100% renewable energy future.

We know that wherever they live, people all over the world need energy. But producing energy at large fossil fuel driven power plants and distributing it through a national grid is not the answer. The infrastructure is costly to build and maintain, the energy generated relies on polluting fossil fuels, and the transmission losses over long distances make the whole system grossly inefficient. Decentralized energy from renewable sources, produced close to where it will be used, overcomes these problems and advances the green economy.

To that end, we are announcing a new global project that will raise awareness for sustainable energy generation and expand EDN’s reach into developing nations, bringing distributed renewable energy generation to some of the world’s most vulnerable populations.

Our goal is to launch a new, high profile campaign we call “50 by 50,” that aims to install 50 clean, distributed energy projects in honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in 2020.

Clean Energy Promotes Health

and Environmental Justice