World Habitat Day: Time to Build Carbon-free World
The United Nations designated the first Monday of October of every year as World Habitat Day to reflect on the state of human settlements and people’s right to sufficient shelter. It also aims to remind people that they are responsible for the habitat of future next generations.
The purpose of World Habitat Day is to reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter. It is also intended to remind the world that we all have the control and the accountability to shape the future of our cities and towns.
The UN’s World Habitat Day was first celebrated in 1986 with the theme “Shelter is My Right”. Nairobi was allocated as the host city for the observance that year. This annual event is held on the first Monday of October with a new theme each year.
The theme for this year’s World Habitat Day is “Accelerating urban action for a carbon-free world”. Cities are responsible for some 70 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions with transport, buildings, energy, and waste management accounting for the bulk of urban greenhouse gas emissions. Cities are struggling to cope with the burden and cost of increasing amounts of waste, which causes serious health problems in uncontrolled dumpsites throughout the developing world and is a significant source of pollution as well as greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide.
The future of our planet depends on national, regional, and local governments and organizations, communities, the private sector, and all relevant stakeholders working together to create sustainable, carbon-neutral, inclusive cities and towns.
On World Habitat Day, we must all commit to advocating for healthy and safe habitats for all from shielding our natural world, to ensuring frontline communities most impacted by climate change are safe.