Change Talks: the final #ClimateOfChange conference in Brussels


Change Talks: the final #ClimateOfChange conference in Brussels

During the closing event of the pan-European #ClimateOfChange campaign, which took place on 27 March in Brussels, a petition was handed over with more than 111,000 signatures calling for greater efforts towards climate and social justice from the European Union.

“We want ambitious policies to build a transition towards climate and social justice”: this is the request that more than one hundred young ambassadors and partners from all over Europe addressed to Clara de la Torre, Deputy Director General for Climate Action at the European Commission, with a petition that collected 111,193 thousand signatures. An extraordinary result which underlines the urgency of the issues and the will to act on them.

“Facts and figures are the basis of our climate action, but they are not enough. We need policies that take social, economic and human aspects into account. This is urgent, difficult and expensive, but it is still possible. The European Union is working at the forefront of the climate crisis, but those who emit pollution must take responsibility for their behaviour’. These were the words used by Clara de la Torre during ‘Change Talks – civil society dialogues on social and climate justice’, the closing conference of #ClimateOfChange, organised by WeWorld, Environmental Bureau and 14 other European partners involved in the campaign, which took place in the Belgian capital at the Museum of Natural Sciences.

The University of Bologna also actively participated, with a research group from four departments: Sociology and Economic Law (Prof. Pierluigi Musarò and Dr. Elena Giacomelli), Agro-Food Sciences and Technologies (Prof. Matteo Vittuari and Dr. Elisa Iori), History, Cultures and Civilisations (Prof. Elisa Magnani and Dr. Sarah Walker), and Political and Social Sciences (Prof. Marco Borraccetti and Dr. Susanna Villani).

The conference was also an opportunity for a debate on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence, a proposed European law that would oblige companies to respect human and environmental rights along global supply chains. “We welcomed the European Commission’s proposal for a directive to regulate corporate behaviour, introducing stakeholder consultation, reversal of the burden of proof and civil liability in case of misconduct that would damage, in an interconnected world, the entire global community,” said Margherita Romanelli, Coordinator of the EU Programmes and International Policies, Advocacy, Partnerships and Evaluation area of WeWorld, on behalf of the #ClimateOfChange Consortium – “To be effective in protecting ecosystems, the Directive must also ask companies to indicate clear objectives and targets to limit climate warming to within 1.5 C°, as requested by over 111,000 European citizens. This would be a concrete action that goes in the direction of immediate and meaningful action, as the recently published ICCP report indicates”.

At the end of the conference, a media stunt took place in Place du Luxembourg with the petition numbers displayed in front of the European Parliament by the consortium partners and young ambassadors.


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