Thousands of climate change activists descended upon Brussels on December 3, 2023, in a march, chanting a serious message about the dangers of climate change. The event happened as the COP28 climate summit in Dubai reached its conclusion, where nations pledged measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions within seven years to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Brussels, Demand Action Against Climate Change

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Despite promises made in Dubai, the activists in Brussels expressed dissatisfaction, calling for more ambitious and immediate actions to counter the climate crisis.

The Brussels became the stage for a gathering of around 20,000 to 25,000 protesters who converged outside the Nord Station, embarking on a march towards Cinquantenaire Park.

The procession traversed Schuman Square, home to European institutions, with signs bearing powerful messages like “Climate crisis is a human rights crisis,” “Break free from fossil fuels,” and the reminder, “There is no Planet B.”

The march maintained a touch of humor. A sign leading the parade humorously proclaimed, “We must save our planet.

It’s the only one where there’s beer,” capturing the essence of the global movement while underlining situation. The atmosphere was complemented by a brass band.

A collective representing 90 civil society organizations, the march aimed to amplify the voices demanding immediate actions against climate change.

The activists urged political leaders to implement measures to counter global warming, addressing the need for effective policies to safeguard the planet’s future.

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Luc Durnez a protester braving the cold, voiced his discontent, stating that the Belgian government attended the climate summit without a plan, a sentiment shared by many participants.

The lack of a concrete strategy and urgency from political leaders fueled the frustration among citizens, who took to the streets to demand decisive action.

While nations at COP28 pledged measures in Dubai to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Brussels marchers contended that Europe, in particular, was not doing enough, nor quickly enough.

The dissatisfaction was the urgency felt by citizens who perceive the climate crisis as an immediate threat requiring more responses.

The protesters carried banners bearing messages of hope and responsibility. One participant, Karol De Decker, said that all countries must take responsibility for accelerating the transition to renewable energy. “There is still hope. But it has to be done now”.

The COP summit in Dubai is into the impact of climate change on public health, particularly the rise of sickness and disease.

The host nation, the United Arab Emirates, and various charities pledged $777 million to combat tropical diseases exacerbated by climate change.

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This dual focus on environmental and health concerns showcased the challenges that demand solutions. The world is struggling to meet the goals set by the 2015 Paris Agreement, aiming to limit the temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The protesters in Brussels voiced the concerns of scientists, warning of severe impacts on weather, health, agriculture, and other sectors if these goals are not met promptly.

Nicolas Van Nuffel the president of the Climate Coalition, said the demands articulated during the march. These included expediting home insulation, increasing cycle paths, and reinvesting in public transport as steps toward a sustainable future.

The protest in Brussels brought together individuals from diverse age groups, the cross-generational concern for the planet’s future.

John, a protester attending with his son, underlined the importance of raising awareness, especially among children.

Individuals like Nienke, a student, expressed the anxiety about the future, stating, “My future is in danger, and I really want to live in a safer world.”

Slogans like “No to climate change, yes to system change” voiced a growing sentiment among the protesters for a shift in the existing socio-economic systems contributing to environmental degradation.

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