Durban Climate Hero Abigail Borah: ‘I Am Speaking On Behalf Of The USA Because My Negotiators Cannot’

Read all the ThinkProgress coverage from the Durban climate talks.

The delegates assembled in Durban, South Africa to tackle the civilizational challenge of manmade climate destruction burst into sustained applause on Thursday when a young American interrupted the proceedings to speak on behalf of the United States people. Abigail Borah, a 21-year-old student from Middlebury College and member of the youth climate delegation, spoke out in the plenary hall as US climate envoy Todd Stern prepared to address the assembled environmental ministers. “I am scared for my future,” she said, because of the “obstructionist Congress” and the “empty rhetoric” of President Obama:

I am speaking on behalf of the United States of America because my negotiators cannot. 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.

Watch her speak, from Democracy Now:

The entire US youth delegation agrees with Borah’s message that “it’s too late to wait” because “our future is more than an agenda item”:

After Abigail Borah spoke, guards escorted her out and revoked her credentials to the conference.

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