For the fourth time in two months, 70,000 people rallied in Brussels on January 27th to demand action from the Belgian government and the European Union to increase their efforts in fighting climate change, The rally is considered to be Belgium's biggest climate change march ever, compared to a similar demo last month, clogging trains across the nation, AP reported.
Approximately 35,000 schoolchildren and students in Belgium skipped classes on January 24th to pressurise authorities into taking action to prevent global warming. “Young people have set a good example," protester Henny Claassen said amid raised banners urging better renewable energy use and improved air quality. "This is for our children, for our grandchildren and to send a message to politicians," he added.
Demonstrators took advantage of Belgium’s preparations for national and European Union elections, expected in May, to urge direct action by Belgian politicians despite the country currently being led by a caretaker government.
Although the European Union (EU) is making huge efforts to counter climate change, protesters still demand more. "Society as a whole could do a lot more because they're saying 'Yes, we're doing a lot,' but they're doing not that much. They could do a lot more," demonstrator Pieter Van Der Donckt said.
Citizen activism on climate change on January 27th was not limited to Belgium. In Paris, there was a debate inspired by a recent petition for legal action to force the government to set more ambitious goals for reducing carbon emissions that create global warming. President Emmanuel Macron sees himself as a climate crusader but suffered a serious setback when fuel tax increases meant to wean France off fossil fuels backfired dramatically, unleashing the “Yellow Vests” protests, now in their third month.