- Title: Belgian flood victims critical of climate inaction in wake of IPCC report
- Date: 9th August 2021
- Summary: PEPINSTER, BELGIUM (AUGUST 9, 2021) (REUTERS) DESTRUCTION IN CITY CENTRE DAMAGED WINDOWS VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WALKING ACROSS DAMAGED STREETS DESTROYED HOUSE / CARS UPSIDE DOWN CARS UPSIDE DOWN VARIOUS OF DESTROYED CARS DAMAGED STREET DAMAGED CLASSROOM DAMAGED BUILDINGS BY RIVER DAMAGED BUILDING / LANGUAGE STUDENT AND FLOOD VICTIM FROM PEPINSTER, CHRISTINA HAAS, 20, SPEAKING (SOUNDBITE) (French) LANGUAGE STUDENT AND FLOOD VICTIM FROM PEPINSTER, CHRISTINA HAAS, 20, SAYING: "(It is) one thing to release reports that raise the alarm, but that said, habits are not changing. We are still polluting as much as before. There was a little break in the first months that followed the coronavirus (outbreak), the lockdown, but then it started to rise again and finally nothing changes. It's demoralizing to think that there is a chance that it will continue like this." PEOPLE LOOKING AT DAMAGED BUILDING RUBBLES SOFT TOYS HANGING FROM DAMAGED BUILDING DAMAGED CAR IN DAMAGED STREET RUBBLE IN STREET DAMAGED SHOP WORKER CLEARING RUBBLE FROM DAMAGED SHOP WORKER REMOVING RUBBLE TROOZ, BELGIUM (AUGUST 9, 2021) (REUTERS) FORMER CAR MECHANIC AND FLOOD VICTIM, JOSE CHACON, 62, OPENING THE MAKESHIFT DOOR OF HIS DAMAGED HOUSE CHACON ENTERING HIS HOME CHACON WALKING THROUGH HIS HOUSE, SAYING (French): "The ceiling was drowned" CHACON WALKING UP STAIRS, SAYING (French): "The water reached this level" CHACON STEPPING OUT OF HIS HOUSE CHACON SPEAKING (SOUNDBITE) (French) FORMER CAR MECHANIC AND FLOOD VICTIM, JOSE CHACON, 62, SAYING: "I think the climate is changing, but the climate has always changed. I don't know if humans are contributing to this change but they can regulate the disasters that may happen. We do go on the moon, some spend billions to spend two or three hours (to travel to space) - I don't know how long that takes. Why can't we find a solution for Earth - and not above us? Money can be spent otherwise, I believe." LIEGE, BELGIUM (AUGUST 9, 2021) (REUTERS) VOLUNTEERS PREPARING MEALS FOR FLOOD VICTIMS VOLUNTEER PREPARING LUNCH BOX VOLUNTEERS AT WORK IN VACATED SCHOOL REFECTORY VOLUNTEERS PUTTING LUNCH BOXES ON PLASTIC TRAY VOLUNTEERS SEATED (SOUNDBITE) (French) FORMER SCHOOL TEACHER AND LIEGE RESIDENT, ANNETTE FRENAY, 64, SAYING ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING: "It is high time that (political leaders) worked a little more on this subject. They should have been doing this a lot longer. For me, they did something other than really take care of the climate. Here, with the disasters we have suffered in (Belgian cities) Trooz, Chaudfontaine, Angleur and so on, frankly, I am very afraid." VOLUNTEERS PREPARING MEALS VOLUNTEER POURING TOMATO SAUCE ON PASTA VOLUNTEERS PACKING LUNCH BOXES VARIOUS OF VOLUNTEER CARRYING BOX, PASSING IT TO OTHER VOLUNTEER VOLUNTEER PUTTING LUNCH BOX IN BACK OF A CAR VOLUNTEER CLOSING CAR DOOR
- Embargoed: 23rd August 2021 17:29
- Keywords: Belgium IPCC report Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Reaction Wallonia climate change flood victims floods global warming
- Location: LIEGE, PEPINSTER AND TROOZ, BELGIUM
- City: LIEGE, PEPINSTER AND TROOZ, BELGIUM
- Country: Belgium
- Topics: Disaster/Accidents,Europe,Floods
- Reuters ID: LVA001EPK61C7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Residents of a Belgian region recently affected by severe floods on Monday (August 9) were critical of the inaction of political leaders following the release of an U.N. report that delivered stark warnings about how human-induced climate change is affecting the planet.
The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said human influence was "unequivocally" to blame for warming the planet, and that some forms of climate disruption were now "locked in" for centuries.
20-year-old Pepinster resident Christina Haas, whose garden and basement have been flooded, said the release of previous alarming reports never led to a change of behaviour.
"It's demoralizing to think that there is a chance that it will continue like this," Haas said.
In the neighbouring town of Trooz, former car mechanic Jose Chacon questioned why so much money was spent travelling in space while money is needed on earth to prevent further disasters.
"Why can't we find a solution for Earth - and not above us? Money can be spent otherwise, I believe, " said Chacon, 62, whose ground floor was submerged during the July floods.
In the regional capital Liege, a school was converted into a large kitchen where some 100 volunteers prepare 8,000 meals a day for victims in neighbouring towns and villages.
One of the volunteers, former schoolteacher Annette Frenay, said it was "high time" that leaders addressed the issue of global warming seriously.
Without rapid and large-scale reductions in emissions, the report said, the average global temperature will exceed critical thresholds of 1.5 and 2.0 degrees Celsius (2.7 and 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) during the 21st century.
(Production: Clement Rossignol)
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