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Belgian climate protests even affect UN ranks

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Joyce Msuya, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in Brussels was very surprised that Belgium was attracted to the climate. "It's surprising to see so many people coming to the streets to demand strong action against global warming," she said on Wednesday. Msuya went to Brussels on Sunday, as 70,000 people went to the streets of the capital to demand that Belgian and European leaders make an ambitious climate policy.

Three days earlier, 35,000 students had also proven to be part of a "school strike" for the climate.

"I am surprised at the commitment of these young people and how they organize their activities, they are not common, and their mobilization is widespread in social networks around the world," the CEO said. UNEP, which is "optimistic" about transforming this impulse into "political action".

For her, citizens can change. "Several countries have limited the use of plastic packaging, for example, it would not have been possible without protest and without the support of citizens, whose commitment is necessary to change behavior."

Msuya met with European Commissioner for Environment Karmen Vella on Tuesday in Brussels for three days. "The EU is already doing a lot to fight global warming, but more needs to be done," she said.

Although the EU has agreed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 1990, a large coalition of Member States, from which Belgium is not alone, argues that efforts are being made to accelerate the fight against global warming.

"There is an urgent need for action, especially because the feeling of impatience among the population is increasing," said Meiya, according to which "the transition requires political will".

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