An activist invited to speak at President Joe Biden’s virtual climate summit criticized world leaders Thursday for perpetuating environmental damage to the planet.
Secretary of State Tony Blinken welcomed 19-year-old Mexican-born climate activist Xiye Bastida to speak at Biden’s summit of over 40 world leaders.
“The climate crisis is the result of those perpetuating and upholding the harmful systems of colonialism, oppression, capitalism, and market-oriented green-washed solutions,” she said during her speech.
She accused world leaders of perpetrating economic systems that disproportionally harm black, brown, and indigenous people.
“We demand that you stop systematically targeting the global south, and black and brown and indigenous communities through environmental plunder, the exploitation of our lands…” Bastida said.
She said climate migrants should be recognized by foreign governments, noting flooding, wildfires, crop failure, and