Rio+20 Fail: Youth Lead Walkout of UN Summit
Slamming leaders’ negotiating text as a failure for people and the environment, youth climate leaders stage civil disobedience
Youth climate leaders and their supporters have walked out of the UN climate summit in Rio today to protest the negotiating text that fails to protect the climate. The group staged a “people’s plenary” saying the text decided at the conference by world leaders does not represent “the future we want.”
Satirizing Rio+20’s The Future We Want slogan, members of the groups staged a sit-in and read a mock text called “The Future We Bought.” The group then tore the document to shreds saying “the future we want is not found here” and have returned their badges to UN security to make their way towards the People’s Summit.
“World leaders have delivered something that fails to move the world forward from the first Rio summit, showing up with empty promises and empty pockets at Rio+20” says Mariana Calderon, a young woman from California. “This text is a polluters plan, and unless leaders start listening to the people, history will remember it as a failure for the people and the planet.”
“The Rio text saves political face but fails at protecting people on the frontlines of climate and environmental crises,” Calderon explained. “The current text shows no ambition on the most important issues here in Rio – protecting Oceans, ensuring the right to food and water for all, ending handouts to big polluters, addressing climate change or setting goals for the creation of a just and sustainable future for people and the planet.”