On Friday 20 September, activists around the world will be taking time off school or work as part of a week-long global strike demanding climate action.

In the Belgian and EU capital, the planned demonstration will kick off at 13:30. Starting at Brussels North station, protesters will march through the city centre, ending up at Schuman square in the EU quarter.

Words of hope

On Schuman square, volunteers will form the words ‘voice’, ‘equality’ and ‘climate’. The word ‘climate’ was chosen for obvious reasons. We are in the midst of a climate emergency, and failure to act now is likely to spell catastrophe for humanity and the natural world.

The word ‘voice’ signifies that everyone has the right to speak their mind and to speak up for their rights, no matter their background or circumstances, and opposes attempts to silence people, especially the vulnerable and marginalised.

The word ‘equality’ was selected to highlight how alarmingly inequalities have widened in Europe and around the world and to demand action to create a world of greater equality and justice.

Beyond the climate horizon

These three words were selected to represent some of the key demands of the #StandTogetherNow campaign, which is being organised in Belgium by SDG Watch Europe to draw attention to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Climate is just one of the 17 SDGs (goal 13). This highlights how, important as it is, the climate crisis is not the only environmental problem facing humanity. It is one of a plethora of interrelated and interconnected environmental, social and economic challenges facing the world. These need to be tackled holistically with policies that limit global warming, preserve nature and ensure socio-economic justice.

This global week of action strike coincides with the fourth anniversary of the SDGs, which were agreed at the UN on 25 September 2015.

Between 20 and 27 September, the EEB and other members of the MESA and SDG Watch Europe networks will be organising actions, raising awareness around the SDGs and campaigning for a better future for all.

As a proud supporter of this campaign, the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), as lead partner of the Make Europe Sustainable for All (MESA) project, and other leading NGOs have teamed up with the Fridays for Future movement to co-organise the ‘Global Strike for Future Belgium III’ in Brussels.

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