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On 2 December, 2018, 80,000 people marched on the streets of Brussels to demand Belgium sign the “High Ambition Coalition” of COP24.
Two days later, when the Federal Climate Minister flew to the COP – in her private jet – Belgium and the Czech Republic were the only two countries that didn’t sign.
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From that moment on, Belgium became a roller coaster of strikes and rebellious actions from angry youth. A movement of youth for climate was born.
For more than 20 weeks, thousands of young people came on the streets but our governments did not answer our calls for a concrete climate plan. Protestors occupied the Belgian Federal Parliament for two days to demand the government to sign a climate law. This is still unsigned.
Questioning the very foundations of our systems might seem very threatening, but it is the only way to build a new one.
Youth For Climate worked together with more than 100 climate experts, scientists, economists and others to develop a climate action plan, a plan that today isn’t used by any of the political parties. This disregard of youth, the voice of the future, and the inaction and carelessness towards the climate crisis is not just a Belgian problem. It is a global problem.
We see politicians all over the world ignoring that the “house is on fire”. Some of them have long and ambitious speeches on how to tackle the big issues, but most show no action. And this is exactly what we need. Action.
Moving Beyond a Future of Fear and Frustration: Just Transition will enable ambitious climate action by Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, ITUC
Thinking that climate change is not a crisis is a fatal mistake. But apart from that, thinking that climate change will be a long-term future crisis is even worse. When this happens, we hear things like “We must do this and we must do that...” instead of “We are doing this and we are doing that”. We see it all the time: this is the way our politicians and world leaders are able to minimise the idea of the disaster ahead.
But how can they minimise all of those that have already lost their lives because of climate change? The millions of refugees, the millions of suffering people, the millions of extinct animal species.
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How are we ourselves able minimise this? Because we can’t say that we didn’t know. Science reminds us every day of the urgency of the problem and of humanity being in the midst of a sixth mass extinction. But people are looking away, because that’s the only way possible to still act like business as usual.
Questioning the very foundations of our systems might seem very threatening, but it is the only way to build a new one. We need to show unprecedented action to overcome the climate crisis. Humanity has never done anything like this before. But who can doubt the extraordinary, unprecedented things that we have already done?
We made a whole world run on technology in only a decade. We ended not one, but two world wars. And when we put a man on the moon, John F Kennedy said: “We don’t do this because it’s easy, we do this because it’s hard”.
Choose Your Future: Why cities matter when tackling climate change by Leah Lazer, Research Analyst and Project Coordinator, Coalition for Urban Transitions
The difference is that right now the stakes are much higher. If we don’t succeed, humanity will cease to exist.
So why are we not acting? Why are we so numb and ignorant towards this immense crisis that’s threatening everyone lives? How can some people feel as if this is not their problem, as if this will not harm them and doesn’t concern them?
Amidst global calls for real #ClimateAction, what can governments do? We’re highlighting 5️⃣ key actions in 5️⃣ sectors that governments can take to begin reducing emissions as quickly as possible. Let’s start with 5 ➡️ https://t.co/Wawb7F9l8s #TimeforAction pic.twitter.com/q1FbQTPBFd — OECD ➡️ Better policies for better lives (@OECD) December 10, 2019
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Not caring about the climate crisis equals not knowing about the climate crisis. Because if you know, you care. If you could actually “see” the people that are suffering, the animal species that are dying, the natural fauna and flora that are disappearing…you’d care.
2020 Vision: The super year for the planet (and ourselves) by Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF International
This will be our biggest challenge.
Making sure people know, and by that, making sure they care.
Because if we care, it’s unimaginable to think of everything we could do. Together.
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