By Michel De Muelenaere
VSike before him the Frenchman Emmanuel Macron, the German Olaf Scholz, or the very media-friendly Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, the Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (Open VLD) spoke at COP27, the world climate summit from Sharm el-Sheikh. A speech in which he dismissed climate skeptics and climate activists who have distinguished themselves in recent days by attacking (without damage) works of art.
The fight for the climate, he launched at the United Nations platform, is “a fight for survival. For our physical survival”. But it is also a fight to “maintain cohesion”. “We have to be more ambitious, but we also have to take care of people. We need solutions that work for everyone. Without leaving anyone on the side of the road”.
True to his convictions, De Croo broke a spear in favor of technology. “People need to know that today’s climate technologies are more promising than ever.” And to praise Belgium whose delegation of 115 members (who will not all come to the COP) includes more than fifteen representatives of the port of Antwerp, Fluxys (the gas operator) and the Dredging Deme came to praise their projects in the field of “green” hydrogen.
Alexander De Croo: “Climate change has come for revenge”
Practicing ecumenism and a “at the same time” very Macronian, De Croo pleaded for a North-South rapprochement and spoke to young people. “Be part of the solution, go study science and above all, build coalitions, partnerships. Engage with people with different ideas, that’s where the real change happens.”
For De Croo, the government cannot do everything alone. Progress is not imposed from above but co-created between partners. Between governments and the private sector. Between business and civil society”. This is how we will move forward, he says, and “not by throwing paint on each other”.
Alexander De Croo, however, did not mention the partnership signed between Belgium and Mozambique which provides for the granting of 2.5 million euros to finance the “losses and damages” already suffered by Maputo as a result of the change climatic. It is true that the Flemish government is very reluctant to the idea that Belgium commits to financing in the sensitive file of “losses and damage”…
Climate: condemned in June, Belgium did not make the slightest gesture
“Dividing, and nothing very concrete”, commented on Tuesday evening, an expert from an NGO who, the day before had met the Prime Minister and was a little offended that, in his speech, the latter mentioned them as young activists who know they have to look beyond the slogans”.
“Hollow and disappointing, asserts Carine Thibaut, spokesperson for Greenpeace Belgium. Belgium’s climate record remains totally inadequate. Not only is our country not meeting its climate goals, it has yet to fulfill its commitment to climate justice. “Like the Prime Minister, we are concerned about the polarization of the climate debate. But to fight against it, the Prime Minister has the solution in his hands: he must lead a fair, inclusive and ambitious climate policy. This is the only possible direction to obtain real civic support”.