Thousands of self-styled “climate truants” have marched through the political heart of Europe to demand the Belgian government and European Union take climate action seriously.
Estimates put the number of young people involved at 12,500 with the march taking almost an hour to pass the EEB offices in the European District.
Happening now: students chant “we want change” demanding #climate action in the EU quarter of #Brussels #bravo
etudiant manifestation Bruxelles climat #marchepourleclimat @BrusselsTimes pic.twitter.com/DeduDkbkoI
— EEB (@Green_Europe) 17 januari 2019
Trains into Brussels were packed this morning with ‘climate strikers’ ditching school to join the growing international movement that is demanding governments act to prevent catastrophic climate change.
Ook Genkse jongeren vanochtend vroeg op de trein om in Brussel maatregelen voor het klimaat te eisen. #youthforclimate #ChangeTheSystemToSaveThePlanet pic.twitter.com/fu0Zusizv6
— Michelle Heijens (@MichelleHeijens) 10 januari 2019
Workers along the route cheered as the march passed through the usually car-filled streets between the European Commission and Belgian federal parliament.
— 🚶🏾 Milan 𝓙𝓮𝓭 (@_jedm) 17 januari 2019
In December more than 75,000 people marched in the Belgian capital in what was the country’s biggest ever climate march but today’s protest was just for school-aged students that were skipping class to join the action.
Thanks to #youthforclimate for the incredibly bright (and loud) silver lining on the horizon!
Made everyones day @Green_Europe !!! pic.twitter.com/hgln5mB3Rp
— Stephan Piskol (@SPiskol) January 17, 2019
The ‘school strike’ movement came to global fame after teenager Greta Thunberg, who had been involved in a protest in front of the Swedish Parliament, spoke to the UN’s global climate conference in Poland last year.
School strike week 21.#climatestrike #fridaysforfuture #schoolstrike4climate pic.twitter.com/ZyF5a1GNUv
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) 11 januari 2019
Climate scientists working for the UN have concluded that limiting global temperature rises to 1.5°C is still possible, but unprecedented action will be required.