The Voice of Youth at COP17: Where is the Courage in These Rooms?

Thomas Schueneman

Speaking on behalf of the world's youth at the COP17 climate conference in Durban South Africa on Friday, 21-year-old Anjali Appadurai, a student at the College of the Atlantic in Maine, addressed the delegates at what was intended to be the concluding session of the negotiations. Appadurai chided the delegation for their lack of real ambition and courage in dealing with the urgency of the climate crisis, leaving her generation with the consequences of inaction and monied, short-sighted interest.

Her eloquent and emotional appeal struck a chord with the assembled delegation, prompting the COP Chair to wonder aloud why she had not been allowed to speak at the beginning of the conference instead of at the end. Appadurai represents a youth organization called "Earth in Brackets," the meaning of which she explains in the second video below.

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