Greenpeace activists on Thursday dropped banners and held flares in an attempt to make the Europa building in Brussels, Belgium appear to be on fire as the continent's leaders gathered to address the planetary emergency.
"The world is on fire and our governments are letting it burn," Greenpeace EU director Jorgo Riss said in a statement.
BREAKING: 61 Activists set the EU summit on fire *figuratively* whilst governments argue about climate targets for...2050.— Greenpeace Belgium (@greenpeace_be) December 12, 2019
But that’s just too little too late. Our planet is *literally* burning and we need countries to take climate action NOW.#HouseOnFire #EUCO pic.twitter.com/PveD52Oqns
Protesters arrived at the building Thursday morning in a vintage fire engine. The 61 demonstrators came from seven countries, according to Greenpeace EU. Twenty-eight climbers "scaled the summit venue and wrapped the building with images of giant lapping red and yellow flames, setting off billowing clouds of black and white smoke, red distress flares, and sounding a loud fire alarm," the group said in a statement.
WARNING: CLIMATE DELAYERS INSIDE
European leaders are stuck discussing climate targets… for 2050?!
If we don't decrease EU emissions to at least 65% by 2030, it's going to be very difficult to get to zero by 2040 #HouseOnFire #EUCO #ClimateEmergency #COP25 pic.twitter.com/MEqx4kzRwX
— Greenpeace EU (@GreenpeaceEU) December 12, 2019
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It's a big week for the climate crisis in Europe as the region's leaders are debating action at both the United Nation's COP 25 gathering in Madrid, Spain and the European Union summit in Brussels.
According to The Associated Press, E.U. Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen is fighting to get support for a carbon-neutral plan, but is facing particular resistance from Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic who object to a clean energy transition by voicing cost concerns.
To get the support of all E.U. members, von der Leyen on Wednesday unveiled a new "European Green Deal" she called a "master plan," with an offer of some 100 billion euros ($130 billion) in public and private funds to help the fossil-fuel reliant E.U. nations make the transition to lower emissions.
"It's not enough for them to commit to a climate neutral E.U. in 2050," said Riss. "The presidents and prime ministers in Brussels today will be long gone by then. What counts even more is the urgent action they take now, while they are in power."
In this very building, Leaders of EU countries are currently discussing what climate actions to take by… 2050.— Greenpeace (@Greenpeace) December 12, 2019
But that’s just too late! We have no more time for delays.
So activists today sent them a taste of #ClimateEmergency, to say ACT NOW!#HouseOnFire #EUCO #COP25 pic.twitter.com/aOrQTSbYS8
Fifty of the demonstrators, including all 28 climbers, were arrested.