What to do for a liveable planet? Invitation to meet three gene­ra­tions of earth protectors

7 December 2022

We need to step up on climate action. As scientists point out, nothing less is at stake than a viable future for humanity on this planet, and current policies are falling dramatically short. How to turn the tide? What is the most effective way to tackle the climate crisis? This Saturday December 10 three experience experts on ecocentric politics, youth activism, advocacy and legal action against big polluters such as Shell, gather in Brussels to exchange thoughts with the audience on the most urgent and existential question of our time. Come and meet member of Dutch parliament Christine Teunissen, young environmentalist Ariane Giraneza and Friends of the Earth director Donald Pols at Steigenberger Wiltcher’s hotel in central Brussels at 8 pm! Register your free tickets now (seats are limited).

Activist politicians of the worldwide ecocentric animal politics movement during the climate marches in Glasgow in November last year (COP26) ), including MP Christine Teunissen and member of European Parliament Anja Hazekamp of the Party for the Animals (front, centre).

Immediate action is required to avert climate disaster, as hundreds of scientists of the international climate panel IPCC have stated in a number of recent reports. The good news is: there are plenty of effective, affordable measures to halt global warming.

Taking activism into politics
“We need more activist politicians, who truly stand for sustainability”, says Christine Teunissen, member of Dutch Parliament and acting party leader of the ecocentric Party for the Animals – the first political animal rights party in the world to enter national parliament in world history. In her work, she is constantly pushing for positive change on topics such as climate justice, biodiversity, deforestation and international trade agreements. Last year, she was one of the official representatives of the Dutch Parliament at the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, where she also campaigned on the streets during the Global Day of Action to raise awareness for the negative impact of the livestock industry on biodiversity and our climate. "It is because of the activists – the people that, day in day out, shed light on the climate crisis – that we still have a chance to turn the tide. And the Party for the Animals contributes to that cause, by bringing activism into politics."

Combining the forces of politics, law and activism

So how to combine the forces of politics, activism and legal action to the most effect? Christine will discuss this with Ariane Giraneza, Donald Pols and the audience during the special public event ‘Speeding Up Positive Change – Three Generations for Climate’ that is organized on the occasion of Human and Animal Rights Day and within the framework of the Animal Politics World Conference ‘Taking Political Activism to the Next Level’ in Brussels.

Young environmentalist Ariane Giraneza has been pushing to make her generation’s voice heard in climate debate from a young age. “I believe the youth’s perspective is indispensable in climate and environment matters. Even though we are young, we will shape the world of tomorrow.” That’s why she took part in the official youth engagement group for the G7 last year as the EU Climate and Environment Delegate. She is also involved in the Belgian Friday Group, a policy think tank of young professionals from different backgrounds reflecting on the main challenges for Generation Y, and works as a Climate Policy Manager at the environmental NGO Bellona Europa. “The big challenge is to make sure that grown-ups and policy makers listen to us and that they take our ideas and turn them into action.”

Friends of the Earth Netherlands director Donald Pols is from a somewhat older generation, and pushing for mobilization for the climate -and- for involvement of youth. “Environmental organisations are traditionally focused on lobbying. This is changing: we at Friend of the Earth focus on mobilising the people.” This has made Friends of the Earth Netherlands into one of the most influential climate organisations. “Our strategy is to accelerate change by creating a support base and influencing the public opinion.” And – last but not least – by taking legal action. For Donald and his colleagues initiated the world famous and successful lawsuit against Shell, that made headlines and serves as a valuable precedent in climate cases all over the globe.

Get inspired, join the interactive panel discussion!
This weekend the three of them will share their ideas and experience under the guidance of ethical storyteller and moderator David Labi, founder of the ethical storytelling agency Good Point. You are warmly invited to join the event in Steigenberger Wiltcher’s Hotel, 71 Avenue Louise, Brussels, Saturday the 10th of December from 20h00 to 21h30 – with drinks after. There will be plenty of opportunity to share thoughts, ask questions and meet the other citizens, activists, politicians and experts present in the audience. Sign up for free now! Seats are limited.