Press Releases Rise for Climate Belgium: For a Stronger European Climate Law

Rise for Climate Belgium: For a Stronger European Climate Law

For a Stronger European Climate Law

Sunday 9 May 14.00–16.00 on Place du Luxembourg, Brussels

This Sunday 9 May, Rise for Climate Belgium will mobilize citizens in front of the European Parliament to demand a European climate law that meets the challenge of climate change and conforms with the Paris Agreement. Our speakers will feature Professor Olivier De Schutter, legal scholar and UN Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights; Dr. Riccardo Petrella, political scientist and economist; and Esther Bollendorf, EU Gas Policy Coordinator for Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe.

We invite citizen and youth movements, NGOs, scientists, trade unions, elected politicians to join us in voicing support for a strong and binding climate law, a green recovery plan, and adequate funding for a just transition. We will advocate for climate and social justice, recognizing that the first victims of economic, climate and health crises are the most vulnerable groups in our society.

We will also demonstrate our solidarity with the citizens of France, who on that day will be marching in more than 150 cities to express their disapproval of the French climate law, which falls far short of what France needs to respond to the climate emergency. Rallies will also be held in London, Luxembourg, and Malaga.

We have chosen the symbolic date of 9 May, officially designated “Europe Day” to celebrate the anniversary of the “Schuman Declaration”[1]. But we are renaming it “Europe Climate Day” in order not to memorialize its past (as the world’s second historical emitter of CO2) but instead to deliberate on Europe’s future, a future that we want to be carbon-free, sustainable, respectful of the environment and of social justice.

Our main climate demands are conveyed in a petition which we launched this week and which as of today has already collected over 18000 signatures:

1.The European climate law has set a target of 52.8 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 compared to 1990. We repeat our longstanding call for a 65 percent reduction target, which according to the UN Environmental Programme[2] is necessary to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 °C.

  1. To ensure that member states and industries will respect their climate commitments, we want access to justice for citizens and NGOs to take legal action against violators, in accordance with the Aarhus Regulation[3].
  2. We demand that European governments stop all public subsidies to the fossil fuel industry (which amount to 112 billion[4] euros per year for the production and use of fossil fuels).

4.Given the flagrant inconsistencies in European policies with regard to the climate (the Common Agricultural Policy, trade treaties such as EU-Mercosur, the Energy Charter Treaty, etc.) we demand that the agricultural, financial and economic policies of the EU be subject to the Climate Law and in full compliance with the Paris agreement.


Event Program (to be confirmed)

13.45 Musical introduction

14.00 Welcome by Rise for Climate

14.10 Bertrand Wert, Ixelles councillor and member of the French political party
Europe Écologie Les Verts

14.15 Musical performances: “Combien de temps encore?” by Getch Gaëtano, co-founder
of Rise for Climate and “Danser Encore” group song

14.30 Esther Bollendorf and Olivier De Schutter

14.40 Musical performance by Tiffany

14.50 Riccardo Petrella

14.55 Musical performance by Tom White Shoes

15.05 Dance challenge “Jérusalema”

15.10 Closing remarks by Rise for Climate

15.20 Group photo in front of the European Parliament

Facebook event:

Press contacts:

Larry Moffett, tel. +32 495 534 340

Kim Lê Quang, tel. +32 499 439 350


Our action is supported by Rise for Climate Luxembourg, Teachers for Future Spain, La Marche d’Après (France), Coalition Climat – Klimaatcoalitie (Belgium), Madalina Scarlat (Fridays for Future Romania), Marco Pito (Italian activist) Olivier Marchand (Youth for Climate France), Petra Palmen (Saturdays for Future Sweden), Luisa Neubauer (FFF Germany).

Rise for Climate Belgium is a citizen collective based in Brussels which has been mobilizing since September 2018 to pressure European institutions and Belgian governments on climate policy and demand serious measures to confront the climate emergency.


Twitter: @Rise4ClimateBE

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