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:
Image Credit: Flickr – brunosan