25,000 take part in climate march in Brussels
For the first time this year, a large anti-climate change demonstration took place in Brussels on Sunday afternoon. The demonstration entitled “March for the Future” attracted thousands of demonstrators both young and old(er). The march was organised by the Climate Coalition an umbrella group that brings together organisations ranging from environmental pressure groups to trade unions. Although there were 25,000 people at the march, attendance was still a far cry from the 70,000 people that attended the big climate march in our capital city in early 2019.
The march comes just two weeks before the start of the COP27 climate summit in the Egyptian coastal city of Sharm-el-Sheikh. The 12-day summit gets under way on 6 November. The organisers hope that Sunday’s demonstration will concentrate the minds of Belgium’s federal and regional governments on climate change issues.
The Climate Coalition’s Zanna Vanrenterghem told journalists that “Fortunately, the days when we had to take to the streets to demand ambition and a sense of urgency are now some way behind us. Now we’re have taken to the streets because we need action to be taken with regard to energy and agriculture”.
The Climate Coalition’s demands include a tax on excess profits made by the energy companies and a housing and energy pact to make homes in Belgium more energy efficient. The Coalition also wants greater attention to paid to the global food production system that is vulnerable to the effects of climate change such as drought and flooding.
Zanna Vanrenterghem told journalists that “The energy crisis and the climate crisis are one and the same. Nature and energy bill have a common enemy, fossil fuels. As we continue to cling on to an outdated model for organising our society were remain at the mercy of gas and oil prices. We need to move completely to renewable energy, whereby the people can produce their own energy and share it with others”.
In addition to environmentalist groups and trades unionists, representatives of NGOs such as Broederlijk Delen and 11.11.11 and politicians from several political parties, Francophone and Flemish were at the march.