While UNESCO Executive Director Joyce Msuya in Brussels was impressed by the mobilization of the climate in Belgium. "It's unbelievable to see so many people coming into the streets to call on a powerful action against global warming," she said on Wednesday. Msuya landed on Sunday in Brussels, while 70,000 people marched on the capital's streets to demand from the Belgian and European leaders the ambitious policy in the light of the climate crisis.
Three days earlier, 35,000 students also showed that it was part of the school climate strike.
"I am delighted with the dedication of these young people and the way they are organized, this is not a common phenomenon, and their mobilization is transmitted across the globe on social networks," said the executive director. UNEP, which is "optimistic" in translating this moment into "political action".
For her, citizens can make a difference. "Several countries have restricted the use of plastic packaging, for example, it would not be possible without protests and without the support of citizens, whose dedication is necessary to change behavior."
In a three-day visit to Brussels, Ms. Msuya met with European Environment Commissioner Carmen Vell on Tuesday. "The EU already does much to fight global warming, but more needs to be done," she said.
Although the EU agreed to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, compared to 1990, a broad coalition of member states – of which Belgium is not one – claims to accelerate pace in the fight against global warming.
"It is urgent to act, especially because a growing sense of impatience is growing in the population," Msuya said, "transition requires political will."