FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
8 DECEMBER 2011:
U.S. YOUTH EJECTED FROM CLIMATE TALKS WHILE CALLING FOR NECESSARY CLIMATE PROGRESS
Durban, South Africa — After nearly two weeks of stalled progress by the United States at the international climate talks, U.S. Youth spoke out for a real science based climate treaty. Abigail Borah, a New Jersey resident, delivered a passionate speech calling for an urgent path towards a fair and binding climate treaty and admonishing members of Congress for impeding global climate progress to internationl ministers and high level negotiators at the closing plenary of the Durban climate change negotiations. Borah’s speech was met with an eruption of applause while she was ejected from the talks shortly following her entreaty.
Borah, a student at Middlebury College, spoke on behalf of U.S. negotiators because, “they cannot speak on behalf of the United States of America,” highlighting that “the obstructionist Congress has shackled a just and delayed ambition for far too long.”
Since before the climate talks, the United States has held off on the necessary emissions reductions targets until the year 2020. Studies from the International Energy Agency, the UNEP, and countless other peer-reviewed scientific papers show that waiting until 2020 to begin aggressive emissions reduction would cause irreversible climate change, including heightened tropical storms, worsening droughts, and devastation affecting communities and businesses from Africa to America. Nevertheless, the United States has held strong to its woefully inadequate and voluntary commitments made in the Copenhagen Accord and Cancun Agreement.
“2020 is too late to wait,” urged Borah. “We need an urgent path towards a fair, ambitious, and legally binding treaty.”
The U.S. continues to negotiate on time borrowed from future generations and with every step of inaction, forces young people to solve the quickly exacerbating climate challenges that previous generations have been unable and unwilling to address.