In 30 seconds: Why do young Belgians keep marching for the climate?
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In 30 seconds: Why do young Belgians keep marching for the climate?

One year on, young Belgians from across the country's language borders continue pouring into the streets of the EU capital to demand action from politicians to fight climate change. Credit: GG/The Brussels Times

As the latest school strike for climate wrapped up in Brussels, Belgium’s Youth For Climate (YFC) group said that now was a key time to keep piling pressure on world leaders for meaningful and science-backed climate action.

The latest climate protest in Brussels was led by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg and drew over 3,000 people from across Belgium and Europe to the streets of the Belgian capital.

While YFC delegates labelled the latest climate march a success, they sharply rebuked the EU’s Climate Law, unveiled Wednesday, calling it “an empty box,” in statements that echo Thunberg’s own criticism of the law, which she delivered just after the law was unveiled in the EU Parliament.

Speaking to The Brussels Times, 20-year-old Cato Van Den Kerchove, one of YFC’s rotating spokespersons, explained why the climate action group planned to keep on striking.

Why it important for young Belgians to keep on striking for the climate?

“We need to keep marching to make sure that the Green Deal is as ambitious as it can be so that the EU can take a leading role in climate,” Van Den Kerchove said.

The climate activist group has criticised the EU’s Climate Law —meant to enshrine the EU’s Green Deal into legislation— for focusing mostly on the 2050 finish-line but disregarding the fact that current emissions-rates put the world on track to blow past the Paris Agreement’s goal much sooner.

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Why now?

Spokesperson Gitte De Meyst, 22, said that it was important that youth keep piling pressure on leaders in the run-up to the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, a key meeting during which expectations are high for the bold political action that environmentalists have increasingly been calling for.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times