Share article:
Share article:

Rising sea levels threaten the Belgian coast

The new IPCC report explains that rising sea levels are accelerating. Credit: NASA.

An acceleration in the rate that sea levels are rising, highlighted in the latest special report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, poses a threat to the Belgian coast, warns Belgian branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature.

The Special Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate released on Wednesday explains that the rise of sea levels has accelerated in recent decades due to the melting of ice in Greenland and in Antarctica, as well as the melting of glaciers.

Sea levels rose by an average of 3.6 mm per year from 2006 to 2015, while over the entire twentieth-century sea levels rose by 15 cm, the report explained. Even if greenhouse gases are significantly reduced and global warming is limited to below 2°C, sea levels could rise by between 30 and 60 centimetres by 2100.

“As a coastal country, Belgium is very vulnerable,” said the Belgian branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in a press release. “With the rise of sea levels, the coastal ecosystem will be caught between increasing erosion on the seaside and urbanisation on the land side,” added the WWF-Belgium.

“Belgium must intensify its efforts to combat climate change and increase the coast’s resilience against the acceleration of rising sea-levels. We need to restore our natural coastal defence,” said Ocean Policy Officer at WWF-Belgium, Sarah Vanden Eede.

One billion people living in low-lying coastal areas will be at risk by 2050, WWF-Belgium explains, emphasising the need to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and focus on adaptation to climate change.

“When ecosystems are protected and restored, they can continue to support human livelihoods and well-being, while helping to mitigate climate-related risks,” added the statement.

“If we significantly reduce emissions, the consequences for people and their livelihoods will always be a challenge but potentially more manageable for the most vulnerable,” said the Chair of the IPCC, Hoesung Lee.

Evie McCullough
The Brussels Times

Latest news

More women take police selection tests in Belgium
The selection tests to become a police inspector have more and more female participants, according to figures released by Interior Affairs Minister ...
‘Absurd’: all Brussels schools should have the same Covid rules
Several city councillors for education in Brussels are calling to abolish the "absurd" differences in coronavirus measures for Dutch-speaking and ...
Massive renovations for iconic venue in the heart of Brussels
Brussels concert hall Ancienne Belgique has announced plans to renovate the AB Café and the AB Salon and is looking for a contractor fit for the job. ...
Display of child’s room in Brussels raises awareness of foster families
An exhibit that features a fictitious child’s bedroom has been on display since Tuesday at the Place d'Armes in Namur, with the support of the ...
Test results show pupils have fallen behind in Flemish schools
Learning delays have been reported in almost all subject areas in Flanders since the start of the pandemic, a trend that continued in 2021, a ...
Belgium considers relaxing testing rules for UK travellers
At the next Consultative Committee meeting, Belgium will look into relaxing the testing and entry policy for travellers coming from the United ...
Jette libraries start giving plants away with books
Visitors to libraries in the Brussels municipality of Jette will soon be able to pick up a free plant along with a book, thanks to the new Plantotek ...
‘Do what you want, but do it as safely as possible,’ experts warn
As the daily number of new coronavirus infections exceeds 3,000 for the first time since May, infectious disease expert Erika Vlieghe and ...
‘We’re running dry’: Brussels teacher shortage reaches critical levels
The teacher shortage in Brussels is affecting schools across language borders, according to Brussels’ Minister for Multilingualism and Dutch ...
New coronavirus infections above 3,000 for first time since May
The number of people testing positive for coronavirus has skyrocketed to the highest rate since the start of May 2021. Between 9 and 15 October, ...
Belgium in Brief: Getting To The Airport
When I saw the news of plans for a tram line and cycle path to connect Brussels' outskirts to the airport, my first reaction was sheer joy.  Let ...
EU should invest €5 trillion in climate plan, says State Secretary for Economic Recovery
The European Union must invest €5 trillion in its climate plan over the next decade to "retain its credibility as a political project," according ...