The Environmental Committee (EC) is addressing the growing importance of fighting for climate justice. An essential factor in battling rising global temperatures is collaboration and cooperation between nations. An important document that aims to secure this necessity is the Paris Agreement.
Signed in 2016, the Paris Agreement addresses the ongoing concerns of rising greenhouse-gas emissions and climate change adaptation. It aims to keep the global temperature increase below two degrees Celsius, increase all parties’ attempts to reduce emissions, and represent the attempts to impede the detrimental effects of climate change. Currently, there are 195 signatories of the agreement, however, the effectiveness of this agreement is strongly hampered by the lack of nations participating, for example Iran, Turkey and the USA.
On the first day of the BERMUN conference, an important discussion emerged about the extraction of resources in the Arctic and fossil fuel overconsumption. After a brief introduction, the EC split into several lobbying groups and debated possible options to combat these conflicts.
The United States (USA) is one of the countries whose policies regarding climate action are critical to prevent a temperature increase of two degrees. Although the USA was one of the original signatories in 2016, President Donald Trump withdrew from the climate accord in 2017. This exit will take effect in November 2020. The USA is the second highest contributor to worldwide total carbon dioxide emissions, producing 14.6%; China with 29.5% is the largest contributor. President Trump’s decision received significant criticism from climate scientists as well as the President of the European Union’s Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, who stated that “it’s not just about our future of humanity in Europe, above all it’s about the future of people elsewhere.”
The USA’s withdrawal may seriously affect the efforts of other countries such as India, which is “heavily influenced by the USA’s methods,” according to Octave Mouton, Chair of the EC. Lisa Stokowy, Delegate of India, states that “resolutions such as implementing a carbon tax to reduce emissions are not a priority, instead India is focusing on making electricity accessible for all people. A carbon tax would hinder this process.” Countries such as Saudi Arabia, the USA and others aim to take gradual measures such as eliminating fossil fuel subsidies. The absence of a country in the Paris Agreement, especially one as environmentally significant as the US, will have a crucial impact on world wide carbon emissions and therefore the acceleration of climate change. The EC will continue discussing resolutions regarding the extraction of resources and the overconsumption of fossil fuels.