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Climate Coalition hopes 50,000 will attend new protest in October

Illustration picture shows a joint demonstration for the climate called 'Global Climate Strike' in Brussels to demand political action concerning climate change, Friday 25 September 2020. The action is organised by Youth for Climate, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, Extinction Rebellion and others. (BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK)
05:42 15/09/2021

The Climate Coalition is organising a new Climate March in Brussels on 10 October, the first since the corona pandemic hit in the spring of 2020. More than 80 organisations from all over the country are participating, including Greenpeace, Oxfam and Youth for Climate.

It has been 18 months since the last climate protest, when around 15,000 demonstrators converged on Brussels. That last demonstration, before the first coronavirus restrictions were introduced, followed the largest climate march in Belgium’s history when more than 70,000 people flocked to the capital at the end of 2018 to call for action from the world’s leaders.

The coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions brought in to limit its effect on the population have prevented mass protests going ahead in Brussels but in October, the Climate Coalition - a non-profit collective that unites about 85 organisations – will again attract thousands of demonstrators to the city. The Climate Coalition hopes to mobilise approximately 50,000 participants this time around.

"The mobilisations of recent years have put the climate crisis at the top of the political agenda,” said Nicolas Van Nuffel, president of the Climate Coalition. “Now the time has come for our leaders to take action."

The protest will be timed to bring the climate emergency back into the international spotlight, with an important European summit taking place in Brussels between 21-22 October and global leaders assembling for the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow from the 1-12 November.

The Climate Coalition wants to send a strong signal to political decision-makers. "The message is simple: we expect ambitious, solidarity-based and coherent measures," explained Nicolas Van Nuffel. "We need a Belgian Green New Deal. We offer more than 100 concrete solutions to achieve this.”

This year, extreme weather linked to climate change claimed many victims and destroyed valuable ecosystems in Belgium and Germany through disastrous flooding, and through wildfires elsewhere in the world.

"We need strong policies to limit the impacts as much as possible, starting with the most vulnerable,” said Climate Coalition vice-president Zanna Vanrenterghem. “The publication of the new IPCC report has raised the alarm: we must do everything to change course. Now is the time for politicians to turn their promises into concrete action. It is much needed, but not too late."

The procession will start at 13.00 on 10 October from Brussels-North station. Various activities are planned along the route that will end at the Parc du Cinquantenaire, where prominent activists will give speeches. The Climate Coalition asks everyone participating to respect the current health safety regulations, including the wearing of masks and the maintaining of social distancing where possible.

Written by Nick Amies