Climate Emergency: Negligence and Ignorance
Most Esteemed Participants, Honorable Advisors, and Dear Guests,
It’s my utmost pleasure to welcome you all to the 8th annual session of the Kabataş Model United Nations Conference. Being one of the most prestigious conferences within the Model United Nations Community, KMUN Family has been striving to perform its very best to provide a perfect conference for the hundreds of participants from all around the world. After long discussions and brainstormings within the Secretariat, I, as the President of the General Assembly of Kabataş Model UN Conference, designated the theme of this year’s annual session as “Climate Emergency: Negligence and Ignorance”.
First off, introducing the Sustainable Development Goals, there are seventeen of them. Each one aims to create better, prosperous and above all; peaceful future. They tackle the universal issues the world suffers from. Poverty to peace and justice, gender inequality to environmental degradation; the United Nations has seventeen global challenges to cover up by 2030. Being the thirteenth goal to achieve, climate action addresses to combat climate change and its impacts on the communities. 13th SDG, climate action, underlines the efforts which turned out as Paris Climate Agreement made in COP21 Paris. Therefore, it welcomes any and all actions; movements and strikes in the context of the extermination of the climate crisis.
The world is getting warmer every single day. Temperatures have been significantly rising all around the planet for decades. To give a solid instance, comparison between 1960 and 2016 shows us that 2016 was 0.8 degrees warmer, which is an evident consequence of global warming. The constant rise of the temperature on our planet is a result of global warming. Therefore, the difference between climate change and global warming is that climate change includes melting glaciers, heavier rainstorms, or more frequent drought alongside warming. There are a few further impacts of climate change on the world. The rapidity of the thaw of the glacier in the Himalayas has doubled since 2000. Greenland lost about 2 billion tons of ice in a single day as a result of the climate crisis. Moreover, according to research reported by CNN, the crisis is expected to have more devastating effects in the near future, bearing in mind that a billion people might have been displaced until 2050, as the ecosystem is being impaired. Moreover, it is recorded that the temperature reached 46C in France this summer, which is an all-time high-temperature record. The very same records were set in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Andorra, Luxembourg, Poland, and Germany; as a consequence of a heatwave emerged in Europe. And after all, the question should be who is to blame? All these incidents did or will not come out as a matter of coincidence or destiny. These are unfortunate and pathetic consequences of what the humankind has done so far.
In addition, the United Nations reported that climate change could push 120 million into poverty by 2030. Despite the aforementioned severe aspects of the issue, the negligence of the international community is the main obstacle against the eradication of the climate crisis. The way authorities deal with the crisis is not satisfactory at all. In fact, while the biggest economy on earth, the United States, has been ignoring the greatest threat towards the humankind; neither People’s Republic of China nor Russian Federation have taken any explicit action in regard to the crisis. Additively, instead of paying attention to climate protests and strikes; authorities are hindering the protests made by civilians willing to make the planet’s voice heard. 66 climate protesters arrested in the US due to their climate action outside of the New York Times Building.
On the other hand, since the beginning of 2019, a few hopeful events took place. The United Kingdom became the first country declaring a climate emergency. Renewable energy is on the rise with the aim of decreasing the use of fossil fuels. The World has seen so many green victories this year. The previous European Parliament elections, strengthened the Green Party in the Parliament, pointing out that the awareness regarding the environmental problems incredibly raised among European people more than ever. Even in the United States, whose government has withdrawn from Paris Climate Agreement, pro-environment governors elected in five states, Illinois, New Mexico, Kansas, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
Nonetheless; the governments, the United Nations and its related sub-bodies should take more deterrent actions. In order for us to get away with what we have done to this unique planet, there are a few points which should be taken into consideration by the authorities. Implementation of the Paris Peace Agreement, declaration of climate emergency and preferring the renewable energy sources instead of fossil fuels are the three crucial solutions that will save the future of our world.
Whereas, above all of these solution ideas; there is an underrated fact which should be kept in mind. If we examine the international community, we are able to see that plenty amount of people around the world have no idea regarding the crisis that we currently face due to the fact that many of the governments have been ignoring the issue. And when the ignorance among the public is combined with the negligence of the authorities, climate change will be even more invincible. So, as long as we raise global awareness and shatter the universal ignorance, we will be one step closer to the end of the crisis. Otherwise, we may not have a planet to live in by 2050s. In that very context, I would like to quote a statement from James Baldwin: “Ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.”
To conclude, unless we, as humankind, take urgent actions to eradicate the ignorance which let governments be negligent; it might be too late to recover the damage that we have caused to our home. There should be a question on our minds: the climate is changing, why aren’t we? It is time to act, it is time to change. Do not forget, there is no Planet B!
I am looking forward to meeting you all on 9-12 April 2020.
President of the General Assembly