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Belgium in Brief: Back To The Climate?

Credit: Belga

On Sunday, tens of thousands of people marched again in Brussels to urge the government to shift its focus back to the climate crisis, after a Covid-enforced break of 18 months.

While Belgium has the means to fight the climate crisis, the country “still does not have a real climate plan that is supported by all governments,” said Zanna Vanrenterghem, vice-president of the Klimaatcoalitie, which organised the march.

The police confirmed to The Brussels Times that roughly 25,000 people were present, but the Klimaatcoalitie announced in a press release that the crowd numbered at least 50,000.

More than 90 organisations assembled for the march, bringing together a diverse cross-section of society that spanned generations and social classes. Calls were made for decisive policies to minimise the impact of global warming.

“We are back, more determined than ever! We are more than 50,000 and the count is not over yet!” the organisations said on Twitter.

But will the government hear their call? Let @johnstonjules know (or @maithechini, as she wrote it today) 

BUT WAIT, one last thing: Want news from The Brussels Times in your inbox every morning? Sign up for The Recap, a free daily newsletter containing all the stories you need to know from the day before. It goes great with your morning coffee. 

Belgium in Brief is a free daily roundup of the top stories to get you through your lunch break conversations. To receive it straight to your inbox every day, sign up below:

1. ‘More determined than ever’: Tens of thousands march for climate justice

On Sunday, tens of thousands of people took part in the #BackToTheClimate march in Brussels, the first large-scale demonstration of its kind in 18 months, to call for climate justice. Read more.

Ahead of the march, climate activists Anuna De Wever and Zanna Vanrenterghem explained to The Brussels Times that Belgium is not taking the crisis seriously, despite knowing how to deal with crises. Read more about that here.

2. Ban on many tattoo inks from next year leaves artists high and dry

A looming ban on a common ingredient in many tattoo inks is causing concern among tattoo artists, because of the shortage of alternatives. Read More.

3. Most food delivery workers are in Belgium illegally

A majority of food delivery workers active in Brussels are in the country illegally, have no papers and no protection against exploitation, Le Soir reports. Read more.

4. Girls take over ministerial positions to draw attention to girls’ rights

Two young girls took over the roles of Foreign Affairs minister Sophie Wilmès and Meryame Kitir, federal minister of Development Cooperation and Metropolitan Policy, to draw attention to girls’ rights worldwide. Read More.

5. Belgian police illegally used facial recognition software

Despite explicit denial by the Federal Police, it appears that the Belgian police force did use the facial recognition tool Clearview AI even though such use is illegal. Read more.

6. Belgian helicopter used to rescue migrants off the French coast

On Sunday afternoon, a Belgian helicopter from the Koksijde airbase was deployed in a rescue operation off the French coast. Read more.

7. New fast train will link Antwerp and Hasselt

An upcoming expansion to a pre-existing fast train service will soon link the Flemish cities of Antwerp and Hasselt, significantly shortening travel time for those commuting between the two. Read more.

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