‘More determined than ever’: Tens of thousands march for climate justice
Share article:
Share article:

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

The climate march in Brussels on Sunday. Credit: Arnaud Ghys/ Klimaatcoalitie

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.

The police confirmed to The Brussels Times that their final crowd count tallied around 25,000 people, however according to the Klimaatcoalitie, the non-profit organisation behind the action, the figure is at least double that.

The main aim of the march was to draw attention to the fact that the Belgian governments and policymakers, ahead of a European summit and the major climate summit COP26 in Glasgow, which will begin at the end of this month, must come up with a Belgian Green New Deal, “with ambitious and concrete actions for the climate.”

“We have the means and the solutions to fight the climate crisis, yet a few weeks before the COP, Belgium still does not have a real climate plan that is supported by all governments,” said Zanna Vanrenterghem, vice-president of the Klimaatcoalitie.


‘Marching as climate refugee’

This year, extreme weather conditions affected populations across the world, including in Belgium, where the deadly July floods impacted the lives of thousands, often in some of the most precarious villages.

One victim of the floods, Bernadette Leemans from Chaudfontaine, one of the most flood-struck municipalities in Wallonia, travelled to Brussels to take to the streets to fight for change.

“This summer, the climate crisis hit Belgium hard. I have participated in previous climate marches, but today I am standing here as a climate refugee and not just as a concerned citizen anymore,” Leemans said.

According to the Klimaatcoalitie, decisive policies are needed to minimise the impact and to “protect us from more disasters to come, starting with the most vulnerable people.”

Related News


Speaking ahead of the march, Vanrenterghem told The Brussels Times that the Klimaatcoalitie that it had already done the government’s homework by writing Green new deal memorandum tailored to Belgium, with hundred of measures that the respective governments can “copy-paste.”

Belgian climate activist Anuna De Wever also announced that the Friday “School strike for Climate” actions will soon return, during an event following the march.

Although fewer people took part in Sunday’s march than during the last large-scale demonstration in January 2019, when 70,000 people took to the streets, the Klimaatcoalitie celebrated that the group of protesters has become more diverse than ever.

More than 90 organisations were represented, including the usual nature and environmental organisations and civil society movements, as well as health, human rights and poverty organisations. The crowd itself was also diverse, from young children to grandparents, and people of all backgrounds.

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

Latest news

Mayor wants to close two Brussels bars where alleged sexual assaults took place
Ixelles' Mayor Christos Doulkeridis (Ecolo) said that he’d like to close the two bars that employed a man accused of raping multiple patrons, ...
‘Untenable’: Mayor says situation at Brussels North station is out of control
The situation at Brussels North Station is no longer tenable, Schaerbeek's mayor Cécile Jodogne (Défi) says. Drug dealing, homelessness, ...
Suicide second-leading cause of death among European youth
Suicide is the number two killer among young people living in Europe, a recent Unicef report on the state of their mental health found. The ...
‘Too little, too late’: Brussels mayors criticise CST implementation
After a two week delay, the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) will become mandatory in several situations in Brussels from today (Friday). Some mayors blame a ...
Sciensano expert warns of rising Covid-19 cases this winter
The return of colder weather and the relaxing of health measures are giving rise to new Covid-19 contaminations and hospitalisations around Belgium, ...
Hospital food is making you sick, Belgian study shows
Eating hospital meals results in a measurable decline in health, according to a report from the Flemish television network VTM, which paints a ...
Belgium in Brief: Supply Issues
There are few things more jarring than walking into a store and finding that the shelves are empty, be that partially or otherwise. One thing ...
Stolen Magritte painting on display for first time in ten years
Surrealist painter René Magritte's work "Olympia", which made headlines across the world when it was stolen from a museum in Belgium in 2009, will be ...
Brussels airport pilots ’15 minute’ PCR test
Brussels Airport has announced that it will soon begin a trial of an ultra-fast PCR test able to detect Covid-19 in 15 minutes, a far faster ...
Over 1,000 demonstrators march in Brussels following sexual assault allegations
Around 1,300 people gathered in Ixelles on Thursday night to march against sexual violence, according to reporting from Bruzz. The march was ...
Covid Safe Ticket mandatory in Brussels, but no fines yet
The Brussels-Capital Region will expand the use of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) from today (Friday), but it will take a few days before rule-breakers ...
Belgium hosts ‘farewell party’ for Merkel today
Angela Merkel will be in Belgium on Friday for an official visit as a symbolic "farewell" before leaving her position as German Chancellor after 16 ...