Standing together for a climate of sustainability

By Khaled Diab, EEB

As part of the global climate strike on Friday 20 September, hundreds of protesters in the EU district in Brussels stood together to form the words ‘climate’, ‘equality’ and ‘voice’ to send a symbolic message to European Union leaders.

At the culmination of the march in the Belgian and EU capital, at Schuman Square, outside the EU Council and the European Commission, volunteers came together to from three words, ‘climate’, ‘equality’ and ‘voice’ (a high-resolution photos are available here – credit: Sonia Goicoechea, EEB).

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

The word ‘climate’ was chosen to highlight the need for climate and environmental justice. 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, especially the vulnerable and marginalised, has the right to speak their mind and to speak up for their rights, no matter their background or circumstances and to highlight shrinking civic space.

The ‘equality’ symbol 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.

“Today we sent a strong signal to the new political leadership of the EU. Young and old, individuals and whole organisations marched hand in hand towards the European Commission building with our message: we need politics for people and planet,” said EEB’s Director of Global Policies and Sustainability Patrizia Heidegger, who is also a member of the SDG Watch Europe steering group. “We need more ambition. We need political leaders to now deliver concrete steps for a healthy climate, thriving nature, and happy people.”

The European Environmental Bureau (EEB), as lead partner of the Make Europe Sustainable for All (MESA) project and a member of SDG Watch Europe, as well as Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP), teamed up with the Fridays for Future movement to co-organise the ‘Global Strike for Future Belgium III’ in Brussels as part of the Global Week of Action (20-27 September).

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