Belgium’s teen climate leaders Anuna De Wever and Adelaïde Charlier announced they will be leaving street protests behind and set their eyes on EU policymaking.
In an announcement on Twitter, the Flemish teen said she and Charlier will take up an interning position with the green party group at the European Parliament.
“We need to continue to put the pressure in every way possible,” De Wever said in an announcement, saying that recent changes at the political level were “far from enough.”
Both teens have been on the front lines of Youth for Climate, the student movement behind a wave of weekly school strikes which drew thousands to street protests denouncing the government’s poor climate policies.
While they will still be members of YFC, De Wever said they will step out of the limelight and give up their position as spokespersons in order to ensure the group remains politically neutral.
The internship would be an opportunity for both leaders to enter the world of policymaking and learn more about the way laws go through the European Parliament, as the EU prepares to implement its ambitious European Green Deal.
“It is clear Europe is taking a lead in fighting the climate crisis,” she wrote. “For Youth for Climate, this is the best way to get a seat at the table after striking on the streets for so long, making our voices heard.”
The announcement of the green deal, which aims to tackle the environmental and climate crisis and to reach climate neutrality by 2050, make this a prime time for the teen activists to get involved in the political process, De Wever added.
“This is the moment to make it happen,” she wrote, adding that the student movement would keep up its activism, with the first school strike of the year scheduled for 7 February.