US Youth Occupy Durban Climate Talks [Video]

Frustrated by the hollow rhetoric and empty gesture of the United States’ presence at this week’s Durban climate talks, the delegation of US Youth in attendance elected a representative to voice their demands.

Abigail Borah, a 21-year-old student from Middlebury College bravely interrupted the proceedings just as as US climate envoy Todd Stern prepared to take the podium.

Watch as the audience breaks into applause following Borah’s statement.

“I am speaking on behalf of the United States of America because my negotiators cannot,” Borah later told ThinkProgress. “The obstructionist Congress has shackled justice and delayed ambition for far too long. I am scared for my future. 2020 is too late to wait. We need an urgent path to a fair, ambitious and legally binding treaty. We need leaders who will commit to real change, not empty rhetoric. Keep your promises. Keep our hope alive.”

After Abigail Borah spoke, guards escorted her out and revoked her credentials to the conference. Even more disturbing is the smirk on the COP17 President’s face as he tries to tell her “no one is listening.” What a telling statement from an international diplomat.

To learn more about the US Youth’s demand that Congress and the Obama administration take strong, immediate action on climate change:

Related Reading:

Dispatches From Durban: How Do You Spell “Climate Negotiations”?

Activists Arrested At Durban Climate Conference

Celebs Outnumber Heads Of State At COP17

Image Credit: Flickr – brunosan

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Duane B.
.2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Dan and Tina Partlow
Daniel Partlow3 years ago

What ever happened to better safe than sorry. I admire Abigail for her courage and conviction!

Dan and Tina Partlow
Daniel Partlow3 years ago

@David A It is not so much a matter of global warming as it is climate change. One has only to look at the massively changing climates across the planet to see what we are causing. How can you ignore science and listen to those who are too greedy and selfish to institute changes that are desperately needed. Too bad we cannot send people who are ignorant 50 years into the future to experience first hand what we have wrought upon this planet. Of course most people are adverse to change and would rather wait until it is proven out and it's too late so they can then say " Well who knew?". Hope you don't have any children Dave.

SANJA v.3 years ago

I admire her.

Caro M.
Caro M.3 years ago

Right on!

Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson3 years ago


Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson3 years ago


Magdalena K.
Past Member 3 years ago


David Anderson
David Anderson3 years ago

There are plenty of things that need to change concerning the environment, but I am not convinced on global warming. First, it does not seem to have come close to the warming trend in the middle ages, and no attention seems to be paid to the fact that we started tracking it in the bottom of a cooling period. Second, and more damning is that Al Gore, the high priest of global warming indicates through his actions the does not believe it himself. He has, however, become quite wealthy from it. It is also evident that no administration to occupy the White House at any time in our history believes in it beyond its usefulness for manipulating elections. The behavior of the leaders who are responsible for dealing with this are, in my reckoning, much like religious leaders of centuries past who kept the population in line with the threat of the wrath of the gods culminating in eternal torment while clearly having no regard for any higher power themselves. Now the threat is of global warming without the injection of a potentially irate deity.

K s Goh
KS Goh3 years ago

Thanks for the article.