While in Brussels, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), Joyce Mujia, was very impressed by the mobilization of the climate in Belgium. "It's amazing to see so many people going to the streets to call for a strong action against global warming," she said Wednesday. Msuya landed on Sunday in Brussels, with 70,000 people marching through the streets of the capital to seek from Belgian and European leaders ambitious policies in the face of climate threats.
Three days earlier, 35,000 students also demonstrated as part of a "school strike" for the climate.
"I am trapped by the commitment of these young people and the way they organize themselves, this is not a common phenomenon, and their mobilization has been spread across the world to social networks," said the executive. UNEP, who is "optimistic" in translating this impulse into "political action".
For her, citizens can make a difference. "Several countries have limited the use of plastic packaging, for example, it would not be possible without protest 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 Commissioner for Environment Carmen Vela on Tuesday. "The EU is already doing a lot to fight global warming, but more needs to be done," she said.
While the EU has agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 compared with 1990, a broad coalition of member states – of which Belgium is not one – claims ambitions and acceleration of the pace in the fight against global warming.
"There is an urgent need for action, especially when the feeling of intolerance among the population increases," Mujia said, according to which "the transition requires political will."