EU green chief calls for day of memorial for climate victims

Europe should create a day of memorial for the victims of climate change, the EU’s Green Deal chief Frans Timmermans said Thursday, marking the anniversary of floods that killed more than 220 people mostly in Germany and Belgium.

“It is clear, these erratic weather patterns are a consequence of the climate crisis. And I think it’s time we paid a bit more attention to those victims,” said Timmermans. “And I think it would be a good idea to have at least one day in the year in Europe, where we commemorate the victims of these horrible weather patterns caused by the climate crisis.”

Timmermans made the announcement as he entered a meeting of EU environment ministers in Prague, adding that he would propose the idea to the meeting.

The European Commission’s vice president paid tribute to Rosa, the 15-year-old daughter of the Director General of the Commission’s energy directorate Ditte Juul Jørgensen. A climate activist herself, Rosa had been attending a camp in the Belgian Ardennes when the flooding hit.

“She was swept away by high waters, and she died,” said Timmermans. “We as a family just celebrated the 16th birthday of our daughter and Rosa will never be able to celebrate her 16th birthday and it breaks my heart to have to say this, but I believe that compels us to pay attention to all these people.”

The European Union has been among the strongest opponents of a push from poorer countries to seek compensation and funding to support those who lose family and property to climate change around the world.