Belgian youth and NGOs call for ambitious European approach to climate crisis
On Sunday 23 October, Brussels will once again be the scene of a new edition of the Climate March. Together with Kenyan activist Elizabeth Wathuti and an indigenous Brazilian delegation, organisers and members of the Climate Coalition are calling on Europe to play its part in managing the climate crisis. Ahead of the climate march, 45,000 young people in 400 schools and youth centres are already taking action today.
'Stand Up For Climate' is a warm-up for Belgian youth ahead of next Sunday's Climate March. "Schools play an important role in the fight against climate change," says Koen Stuyck, spokesperson for the Climate Coalition (Klimaatcoalitie), the Belgian non-profit organisation that unites more than 90 organisations around the theme of climate justice.
"The young people who are at school now are going to feel the effects of climate change first. It is logical that they are concerned and want to take action."
Furthermore, the Climate Coalition encourages everyone to come to Brussels this Sunday, for a new edition of the Climate March. Expectations are high, as the march brought some 70,000 people to the Belgian capital in late 2018 and early 2019. Also in October 2021, tens of thousands of climate demonstrators marched through the streets of Brussels.
"This year too, we hope to mobilise a fair number of people," Zanna Vanrenterghem, vice-president of the Climate Coalition told De Standaard. "That way we can clearly convey the message that the energy and climate crises are linked." Besides the current energy crisis, the protesters will also highlight the right to food.
With the action, the Climate Coalition also wants to remind Europe of its role in managing the climate crisis. They are doing so together with Elizabeth Wathuti, a Kenyan climate activist and founder of the Green Generation Initiative that teaches young people a love of nature and environmental awareness. The participation of an indigenous Brazilian delegation is also to raise awareness of the destructive power of the climate crisis.
In a few days, European leaders will leave for Egypt, where the UN COP-27 climate conference will take place from 6 to 18 November. The November climate conference will be followed by another important biodiversity conference, also under the auspices of the United Nations.
Yesterday, the European Parliament already called for a more ambitious approach to the climate problem. It proposed a "loss and damage" financing facility to be agreed at the upcoming UN climate conference COP-27, alongside more national climate commitments. EU countries should commit to tougher climate targets, it sounded.
Those wishing to make their voices heard on Sunday can make their way to Brussels' North Station from 1pm, where protesters are gathering. The end of the Climate March is scheduled around 5pm, after which attendees can enjoy several performances.
© BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK - Illustration picture shows masked protesters in the middle of participants at the 'Rise for Climate 5th Belgian and European march', in Brussels, to raise awareness for climate change, Sunday 31 March 2019.