Faced with nearly 600 members and supporters, the co-president of the Ecolo party Rajae Maouane shared the dread of an entire generation at the disasters that marked the summer. She also remembered the floods that hit Wallonia two years ago.
“Let us remember the scale, unprecedented, of what hit us: 240 municipalities affected. 2.5 billion damage. The most vulnerable on the front line, as always in climatic disasters or in the face of pollution. It is the dramatic illustration that inaction on climate change is the most punitive, the most costly, the most unjust policy there is.”
Means to accelerate a historic ecological and solidarity transition
During this legislature, environmentalists have already acted in favor of a greener and fairer world at all levels, from municipalities to Europe: reinvestment in public transport, targeted free transport at STIB and TEC, in particular for young people, 1000 ha/year of additional nature reserve, 3,000 km of hedges, more than a million trees planted, the introduction of ecocide into the law…
For co-president Jean-Marc Nollet, it is now a question of “changing gear, changing scale”: “We want to increase investment in the fight against climate change and the collapse of biodiversity. Climate change is like a fever. Having a 39° or 40° fever is not the same thing. Every tenth of a degree counts, because it has direct consequences on thousands of lives, on our health, on the survival of animals. If we are moving, it is to protect citizens, it is for a habitable planet and a fairer society.”
Mobilized against the Conservatives
Determined to meet the challenge of the 21st century, environmentalists have also singled out the conservatives who are slowing down the movement, want to put the transition on hold, or even go into reverse.
“We cannot remain in a status quo and respond to today’s challenges with recipes from the past. We lose time, we have to change software. We hear more and more entrepreneurs, freelancers, workers who make ecology and economy rhyme. It is up to us to listen to them and support them”, continued Rajae Maouane.
Increase low and middle salaries
Then, Jean-Marc Nollet launched the political return by recalling that it was essential to quickly offer everyone the power to live with dignity.
“The value of money has decreased, we must be able to revalue the lowest and average salaries. We are thinking of domestic helpers, childcare workers, workers, hairdressers… We want to obtain a first part of the tax reform from the 2024 budget, with the central proposal of increasing low and middle incomes. It’s about leaving no one behind!”
Finally, Rajae Maouane pointed to one of the challenges of the upcoming campaign. “In recent years, citizens’ crisis of confidence in institutions and the political world has been fueled by the health crisis, the explosion of bills and the political scandals that have made the headlines. Our democracy is sick. There is an urgent need to revitalize our political system. Let’s give it a boost. Ecolo proposes in particular to include the referendum in our constitution. It is by giving decision-making power back to citizens that we can move forward together towards a more democratic, fairer and more respectful society for our planet.”
After their weekend in Massembre, a moment of collective breathing, exchanges, training, but also a festive moment, the ecologists are ready for a busy year, with the desire stronger than ever to protect citizens. and build a greener and fairer world for all.