GLASSGOW, Scotland (AP) – At 19, Glasgow college student Ross Hamilton doesn’t think much about world leaders – “they talk a lot of crap” – or ask them to get anything done on such a problem. Let’s hope, what he deeply cares about is climate change.
But there is one former world leader Hamilton Trust, at least enough to join the several hundred Glasgow college students who join the crowd outside his college on a dark Monday: Barack Obama. “I’ve always liked him. I feel like he’s so honest.”
The former US president, one of the leaders responsible for the 2015 Paris climate accord, came to the UN global climate talks in Glasgow to make his cross-generational appeal to urge frustrated climate activists to stay in conflict. Even after a five-year term, and now 60-years-old Obama still claims to forge a relationship with liberal and liberal youth in a way that 78-year-old President Joe Biden won’t be able to get away.
Inside the glass-fronted building where Hamilton and other students from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow awaited his emergence, Obama sat around a table with a dozen climate advocates from around the world, listening and encouraging them. Was doing.
Obama was shirt-sleeved and tieless, his hair white compared to his presidency.
“The success of the movement should not be diminished, even if some of the results” have diminished, Obama told the gathering of climate-focused people in their 20s and 30s. These included a legislator, a film producer, legal advocates, private and public businessmen, foundation leaders and heads of activist groups.
“The question is, where are the countries that have really lived up to our expectations? And it turns out that those are the places where there was pressure, where there was political mobilization, where there were activists,” Obama told them.
It all “will be up to you guys to implement it,” he said.
Obama as president introduced programs to move America toward renewable fuels and away from coal, although President Donald Trump withdrew most of them.
Not all young people are Obama fans.
Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate tweeted Monday that she was 13 when the United States was one of the richest countries under Obama, promising $100 billion a year to poor countries to help them fight and fight. could help deal with the heat, but said those nations had broken the promise.
Nakate told the Associated Press on Monday that she was not attacking the former president, “but I am telling the truth.”
“This money was promised, but it has not been delivered,” Nakate said.
In Europe in particular, youth activists are credited with putting pressure on governments to confront climate change. Most famously, teenager Greta Thunberg launched a climate movement in 2018, which has since attracted hundreds of thousands of weekly protests to demand governments end their reliance on coal, natural gas and oil.
After the Paris deal, Glasgow was billed as a negotiation where about 200 governments would implement the agreement.
Last Friday, Thunberg, now 18, called the talks a “failure” after their first two weeks. Speaking to thousands of young climate protesters protesting Friday in the summit’s host city, Thunberg said national delegations in Glasgow were plugging loopholes for every pledge and “greenwashing” their countries’ emissions. .
The leader of Thunberg’s movement in Germany, Louisa Neubauer, told Obama that young people were finding it difficult to believe that a climate movement that had mobilized so many people could fail.
Neubauer told Obama that he fears disillusionment is undermining people’s faith in democracy, “because people, especially activists, lose faith in their government promises, which often turn into empty promises, in the past. In the lack of honesty about failures.”
Of course stay tuned, Obama told climate activists.
“Don’t think you can ignore politics,” Obama said earlier in a speech at the negotiating site, in which the former president hailed the short-lived.
“You don’t have to be happy about it, but you can’t ignore it. You can’t be too pure for it,” Obama said, dedicating much of his speech to youth activists who said he wanted it. Came to Glasgow to live together.
“It’s part of the process that’s going to deliver to all of us,” he said.
Associated Press writer Anirudh Ghoshal contributed to this report.