An unexpected speaker delivered a pertinent message at the 2023 U.N. Climate Change Conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, after storming onto the stage.
As detailed by Reuters, 12-year-old Licypriya Kangujam, who is from India and the winner of the 2019 World Children’s Peace Prize, used her platform to call for the phase-out of dirty energy, including oil, gas, and coal.
“Save our planet and our future,” Kangujam wrote on a sign, also delivering a spoken message begging the world’s leaders to “act now.”
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On Dec. 11, the day before climate talks were set to wrap up at COP28, countries reportedly received a final proposal that did not include clear language regarding the phase-out of dirty energy, in part raising concerns that governments would be limited in their abilities to hold corporations accountable.
This is despite the fact that roughly 100 nations have pushed to transition away from those sources, as reported by the Independent, which noted some are “developing countries that are especially vulnerable” to the changing global temperatures.
A study co-authored by University College London also found that approximately one in five deaths every year can be linked to pollution from dirty energy, with the “figure much higher than previously thought.”
The Independent noted that Kangujam was approved to attend talks by the U.N. but was informed she would lose her accreditation after interrupting COP28.
It’s unclear if any action was taken on that front, but Kangujam said on X, formerly known as Twitter, that she was removed from the event.
“I was simply voicing the concerns of countless children who are victims of climate change,” Kangujam said after being kicked out of COP28, as reported by the Weather Channel. “Continued reliance on [dirty energy] will endanger millions of lives.”
“I don’t want my future generations to face the same consequences again. Sacrificing the lives of the millions of innocent children for the failures of our leaders is unacceptable at any cost,” Kangujam said in her protest, per the Independent.
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