Abigail Borah ’13 was ejected from climate change negotiations at COP 17 in Durban, South Africa early today for interrupting top U.S. climate negotiator Todd Stern. She has been serving at the UN Summit as a member of the SustainUS youth delegation. She also served as a member of this delegation last year at COP 16 in Cancun, Mexico.
After nearly two weeks of stalled progress by the United States at the international climate talks, Borah 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 told Stern that the U.S. negotiators “cannot speak on behalf of the United States of America (anymore),” highlighting that “the obstructionist Congress has shackled a just and delayed ambition for far too long.”
“I am scared for my future,” cried Borah. “2020 is too late to wait. We need an urgent path to a fair, ambitious, and legally binding treaty. You must take responsibility to act now.”
Part of Borah’s Speech
COP 17 will end this Friday with Borah being banned from the rest of the negotiations.