Upcoming climate march in Brussels: ‘On the news you read every day about the impact of the climate change’

On the 3rd of December, the streets of Brussels will be crammed with protesters for climate change. The Climate Coalition is organizing a new march, with the slogan ‘Every 0,1°C less = every tenth of a degree counts’, since the temperatures are rising drastically. The protest is a urgent call to politicians. 

Many trade unions and environmental movements are walking in the march. The youth will also be represented, by for instance youth movements such as Chiro and JNM (Youth Association Nature and Environment). They all walk together in the youth block of the demonstration, since they are walking for their future. 

Climate protests are still necessary

Zanna Vanrenterghem, Vice-President of the Climate Coalition finds climate marches still necessary today; ‘Every year, we organize a protest because every year we wonder if it’s still necessary. The answer has always been yes, a lot of people still need to come on the streets to put pressure on the politicians.’

This year, the march takes place during the COP28 of the United Nations (28th Conference of the Parties), where the whole world comes together in Dubai to talk about the challenges we face with climate change. They planned this on purpose during the climate summit, where the negotiations start at the end of this week, so the march will be in the middle of this event.

The media attention to the climate marches of 2019 is not comparable with this march, according to Vanrenterghem. ‘That was literally and figuratively a whole different climate. This was a huge form of protest by a group that you don’t often see on the streets and that stayed on purpose away from school.’ But the fact that it doesn’t get as much media attention any more than during the Fridays for future, doesn’t mean it’s still necessary. ‘On the news, you almost read every day about the impact of the climate change. For instance, the shifting weather conditions and recently the COP28.’

Youth for Climate

Besides the large number of young people in the climate march, which is logical according to Vanrenterghem, because it’s the public of the future, there is also another campaign. On the Friday afternoon before the protest, Climate Coalition also organise another action. ‘The stand-up for climate is for school, with thousands of participating students in Flanders and Wallonia. Because schools can’t go to the protest itself, they still want to express their support to the climate march on school grounds,’ explains Vanrenterghem.

Walk for our planet

The turnout for the march is hard to predict according to Vanrenterghem. ‘We can’t forecast the numbers we see, since it’s a Facebook event and not everyone is on Facebook anymore. We do know that many organizations are busy with it and with some good weather there will be a great turnout.’

On the third of December 2023, the march starts from the North station of Brussels. At noon there will be a festive welcome, and after an hour, the march will start from the Albert II-laan. During the 3.7 km walk, there will be some fun activities on the road. Around 15:00, you’ll be arriving at the Jubelpark/Parc Cinquantenaire, where you can eat, drink, and dance until 18:00. If you don’t want to walk by yourself, there are many groups you can join. More information about the march, can be found on the website of the Climate Coalition.

Text: Lotte van den Hout
Photo: Climate march of 23/10/2022 © Lotte van den Hout