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Barack Obama’s Call to Young People: Stay Angry

Monday marks the ninth day of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland. Perhaps the most prominent individual speaker today was former US President Barack Obama, who in addition to attacking his successor Donald Trump also urged young climate activists to keep their anger in check.

To all the young men out there: I want you to remain angry. “I want you to keep getting frustrated,” Obama said. BBCAnd he continued:

– But use that anger. Take advantage of this frustration. Keep fighting harder and harder for more and more, because that’s what it takes to meet this challenge.

The former president also took the opportunity to commend activists like Greta Thunberg for their commitment, but said policy is essential if it is to be able to make real change.

“You don’t have to like it, but it can’t be ignored,” Obama said, adding that everyone should vote “as if your life depended on it.”

Read more: Half the time at the climate summit – many nodes unresolved

Trump criticized Russia and China

Obama also attributed the United States’ four-year absence from climate talks to Republicans and his successor, Donald Trump. During the speech, he claimed, among other things, that “the party’s active hostility to climate science” delayed any success, and that Republicans who engage in the issue are a “rare species” nowadays.

In addition, he expressed his disappointment with the absence of Russia and China from the conference. Neither Vladimir Putin nor Xi Jinping were physically present – despite the fact that countries are responsible for a large portion of the world’s emissions – which Obama described as “particularly disappointing”.

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Read more: What is COP26 – and why is it important?

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