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“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.”

ABIGAIL BORAH, 21-year-old Middlebury College junior, interrupting U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern at the U.N. climate change summit in Durban, South Africa. The U.S. has come under sharp criticism from the international community and environmentalists for standing in the way of further action on global warming, though Stern indicated that the U.S. may be open to a timetable on a new set of talks.

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