At least 70,000 people marched on January 27 in Brussels, braving the cold and rain to urge politicians to uphold their promises on countering climate change.
Chanting and holding placards with slogans such as, “Stop denying the Earth’s dying” and “What I stand for is what I stand on,” demonstrators walked through the streets of the Belgian capital towards the European Parliament building to send a message about climate change to European lawmakers.
A similar demonstration took place in Brussels last December, where organisers called for “ambitious” climate policies to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with goals set by the Paris Agreement in 2015 and urged for more renewable energy, more cycling paths and cleaner air, through “a socially just transition”.
It was the fourth climate change rally in two months in the Belgian capital that attracted at least 10,000 people: a similar march last month also saw 70,000 demonstrators and on January 24 some 35,000 school children and students skipped class to take to the streets with their climate demands.
Trains from across the nation were so clogged that thousands of protesters failed to reach the march in time and organizers had to begin the march early to ease the congestion.
Even though the direct impact on Belgian politics is small because the country is led by a caretaker government, the demonstrations have pushed the issue of climate change up the agenda as parties prepare for national and European Union elections in May.