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‘There is no Planet B’, Belgian climate protest tells COP28

climate protest in brussels
A demonstrator holds a placard, during a climate protest coinciding with COP28 being held in Dubai and ahead of the upcoming Belgian presidency of the Council of the EU, in Brussels

Police said about 20,000 people protested in the Belgian capital to demand more action to fight global warming as delegates from some 200 countries met in Dubai for the United Nation’s COP28 climate conference.

Marching to the beat of drums, protesters waved banners saying “ACT NOW” – the “O” stylised to resemble the Earth on fire – and “There is no Planet B”.

“We think it’s really important to raise everyone’s awareness, especially the children’s, about the future of the planet and about leaders who don’t always listen to what’s going on,” said a protester who attended with his son and gave his name as John.

In Dubai on Sunday, the COP summit focused on climate change’s impact on fuelling sickness and disease. Host, the United Arab Emirates, and charities pledged $777 million to eradicate neglected tropical diseases expected to worsen.

Efforts are lagging to meet the 2015 Paris Agreement goal of keeping the global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, beyond which scientists warn of a severe impact on weather, health and agriculture, among others.

Karol De Decker, a 52-year-old woman who joined the demonstration, said all countries have to take responsibility for speeding the transition to renewable energy.

“There is still hope. But it has to be done now,” she said.

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