20,000 people attend Climate March in Brussels
Around 20,000 people took part in Sunday's Climate March in Brussels, according to the police. "Every 10th of a degree counts" was the message of this year's protest.
The Climate March is an initiative of the Climate Coalition, which consists of 100 NGOs, trade unions and citizens' movements. This year's turnout was smaller than in 2022. According to the organisers, 30,000 people marched through Brussels that year, compared to 25,000 in 2023. Police reports put Sunday's attendance at around 20,000.
According to the Climate Coalition, every 10th of a degree in global temperature increase is crucial to limit the impact on human rights, energy supply, food production and biodiversity.
"The dramatic consequences of the climate crisis are visible around the world, but also here with us, as in the last few weeks in the Westhoek," said Climate Coalition vice-president Zanna Vanrenterghem, referring to recent floods in West Flanders. "The UN Climate Summit COP 28 must ensure that world leaders keep their climate commitments."
Sunday's march took place in the context of the COP28 UN climate summit being held in Dubai. On Sunday, COP28 president Sultan Al Jaber said there was "no science" behind calls to phase out fossil fuels, a statement that was widely criticised by scientists and experts. Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, a Belgian academic and climatologist and former IPCC vice-chair, said on X that "you cannot negotiate with science".
© BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK