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BackgroundGuideforDelegates

Shawnigan Lake School Grade 10 Model UN


Climate Change through the nuclear lens

NewEditionbyWilliamKim&YuvitraJeyaraman
FirstEdition
byLisaJanedeGara(2009)
PastEditors:
OlivierCharronDuhamel(2010)MaddyTorrie,LiamBristerandJesseWray(2012),Maximilian
Mller(2013),CecilAsh(2014)(Graphic:JordanDives)

Foreword
DearDelegates:Thisdocumentisintendedtohelpyoualongthepathtounderstandingthe
debatethatwilltakeplaceonWednesday,December3rd.Youarerequiredtohighlightrelevant
sectionsandmakepersonalizedmarginnotes.Goodluckinyourresearch!

AShortHistoryoftheUnitedNations

Between 1939 and 1945, the

worlds deadliest military conflict


took place resulting in the death of
over 60 million people, or which
was back then, 2.5% of the planets
population.

Furthermore, the

ghastly realities of the Holocaust and the first use of the atomic bomb on Japan pushed the
worlds leaders to replace the League of Nations for a more effective international organization
that would help prevent future wars by providing a forum for dialogue.
Thus,inthesummerof
1945, worldleadersgatheredinSanFranciscowheretheydebatedandsignedtheUnitedNations
Charter
. To this day, this document is the backbone of the United Nations and sets forth its
idealsandmodusoperandi.Inessence,theUNwasestablishedto
savesucceedinggenerations
from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to

mankind[and thus seeks] to maintain international peace and security (UN Charter,
Preamble).
Today, theUNincludes193memberstatesandincludes6principalorgans(GeneralAssembly,
Security Council, Economic and Social Council, the Secretariat
(Ban Kimoon is the Secretary
General)
, the International Court of Justice and the Trusteeship Council (the latter is currently
inactive). Its headquarters are in New York (international territory) and other agencies(theUN
system) are located in cities around the world (ex. WHO, WFP, UNICEF). It has six official
languages
(Arabic,Chinese,English,French,RussianandSpanish).

AShortHistoryofSustainableDevelopmentintheUN

Althoughthetopicofclimatechangeiscomplexandmultifaceted,thisyear'sGrade10

simulationwillfocusonhowclimatechangecanbeaddressedwith
sustainableenergy
production
(solar,wind,hydro,biofuels,nuclearenergy,etc.).


The general consensusamongworldscientistsandthe
IPCC(IntergovernmentalPanelon
Climate Change) is that humanity must avoid increasing average surface temperatures by more
than 2 degreecelsius(see chartabove)
. Thus,thecollectionofIntendedNationallyDetermined
Contributions (INDCs)mustgofurtherthantheyhaveinthepast(reducinggreenhousegasses)
inordertoreachthe2pathway.

Given that our birth dates fall in the late 90s, its hard to imagine aworldwhereclimate
change was not an issue, but as far as global crises go, climatechangeisstillanewcomertothe
circuit. The first ever climate change conferencethe United
Nations Conference on Environment and Development, or the
Earth Summit, for shortwas
held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,
inJuneof1992
. Justoveronehundredcountriessenta member
of their government, accompanied by thousands of NGO
(NonGovernmental Organizations such as Greenpeace, Sierra Club, etc.) and members of the
generalpublic.

Two important agreements were made during the Earth Summit: an international

commitment tothe
stabilizationof greenhousegasproduction,andnotcarryoutanyactivities
on the lands of indigenous peoples thatwouldcauseenvironmentaldegradationorthatwouldbe
culturally inappropriate." (Earth Summit, final resolution, 1992) As a followup to the Earth
Summit, the
UNFCC was formed, and still meets yearly. This body meets regularly and the

meetings are called COPs(ConferenceoftheParties).Herethey negotiatewithothercountries


and attempt to work out new agreements amongst nations (international treaties) that are also
knownasprotocols.

In 1992, the discussion was on a variety of matters, but mostly discussed alackofclean
drinking water worldwide potential sources of energy other than fossil fuels public
transportation as an alternative to the passenger car (which renders cities smoggy and
congested) and production and disposal of toxic and radioactive goods, and how they could be
moresafelymanaged.

In 1997, the UNFCC met in Kyoto,


Japan (COP 3) and passed its famous
international agreement
the Kyoto
Protocol
. In 2005, it came into full
force, and was

legally binding
(meaning it was international law for a
country that had signed the Protocol to abide to its promise)
. Its annex I countries, or the
Global North (industrialized), committed to a reduction of the four greenhouse gasescarbon
dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and sulphur hexafluoride.
These countries agreed to reduce
their overall emissions by 5.2% of their 1990 level
. Many European countries have met this
target, but many others in the world have not. The protocol requested more general things of

industrializing /
developing nations
(the Global South)
. Since then, the world has beenunable
tosetanotherbindingagreementonemissions.

INFOGRAPHIC
Thus, the challenges in building sustainable powergeneration sources are tremendous.
Wind power, solar power, and hydropower are all currently seen as options, however,
acquiring nuclear power remains on the forefront of many nations agendas.
At this
years COP21, also known as the 2015 Paris ClimateConference,
will,forthefirsttime
in over 20 years of UN negotiations, aim to achieve a legally binding and universal
agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2C (United
NationsOnline).

CurrentProgressoftheCOP21
If climate change is not mitigated, the repercussions are thought to be immense. As we
have already seen by the storm patterns in the past couple of years (Philippines, Mexico, etc.)
and the devastating
effects they leave,
especially in Less
Developed
Countries (aka the

Global South
(see
HDI
world map),
the

consequences

from climate change are happening now. The developing world largely blames the destruction

caused by changing weather patterns and rising water levels on the industrialized developed
world (Global North). As four economies emerge as industrialized powers: B
razil, Russia,
India, China (BRIC Countries), the main priority is that they will be able to continue their
tremendouseconomicdevelopmentwhilehopefullynotincreasingtheworld'scarbonemissions.

This is historically challenging because dirtier fuels such as coal and oil are almost

always cheaper and lesstechnicallyintensivetouse. A


lso,countrieswithlargereservesoffossil
fuels are inclined to use them and promote them worldwide so as to increase exports
. Many
argue that the Global North, the industrialized world, did not have toconformtotherestrictions
which often conflict with economic development, and that helping to alleviate poverty is more
important than saving the environment. Of course many countries that are directly affected by
climate change consider threats such as flooding, hurricanes and airpollution veryrealandvery
importanttonationaldevelopment.

Obviously a huge portion of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) are a result of power
production. Coal fired
power plants are still
the primary source of
power

around

the

world

(60%

of

Albertas electricity is
coalfired) and across

much of Asia, Africa and South America. Oil and natural gas are somewhat better from a
pollution perspective but still arefarfromrenewableandaresubjecttodangerousfluctuationsin
price and availability. This isamajorproblemforcountriesthatrelyentirelyonfuelimportslike
Japan, China and much of the EU. Because of this, nuclear power is seen by some as the
potential answer to the problem of providing power to an ever increasing economy and
population.

Other options for reducing emissions include natural gas, solar, wind, nuclear and
hydropower. Solar and wind
farms are extremely expensive
and largely dependent on local
conditions.
Hydropower is
quite economical but has
severe effects on the local
ecosystem.

It

requires

conducive

natural

feature

which are sometimes simply


unavailable. Finally natural gas
often uses fracking techniques
which

are

still

being

investigated for their impact. It also demands the use of pipelines and offshore wells that are
notoriousfortheirriskfordisaster.

Still, many opponents of nuclear technology in all its formscountthenumerousproblemstobe


found. For example, the disposal of waste the danger to engineers and miners, and the
possibility of ameltdown. Theyalsoofferupotheralternativesourcesofrenewableenergysuch
aswind,solarandhydropower.

GuidingQuestions
1.Howdoesyourcountryproducemostofitsenergy?Istheenergyimportedorproducedat
home?Doyouexportanykindoffuel,ieuranium,crudeoilorcoal?Howdoyouthinkthiswill
shapeyourclimatechangepolicyasacountry?
2.Howcommittedisyourcountrytoreachingitsclimategoals?Aretheyjustsayingits
importantoraretheytakingsignificantstepstoreachtheirgoals?Provideanexampleorquote
tosupportyouranswer.
3.Doyouhavethefinancialassetsandtechnicalexpertisetoproducenuclearpower?Ifyou
dont,howcouldyouobtainthissupportfromothercountries?
4.Doesyourcountryplanonincreasing(oracquiring)nuclearenergyproductionintheyears
ahead?Whatarethemajorhurdles?
5.Haveyouandshouldyoutakeintoaccountthepotentiallevelofnaturaldisastersandorother
environmentalconcernsinregardstopotentiallybuildingnuclearenergy?

2.Nucleartechnologydisastersandresponses
The forum in which your country mostlikelydiscussespoliciesaroundnuclearsafetystandards
is the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The primary
goal and stated mission of the IAEA is to work toward the goal of,
safe, secure and peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology.
(IAEA) With growing concern over the development of nuclear
energy and technology
, many world leaders, including the United
States and many in Europe, have expressed a strong desireforaninternationalsystemtogovern
and establish a foundation for controllingthespreadofnuclearenergy.Withtherapidexpansion
ofnuclearpowerforcivilianuses,theIAEAhasbecomeincreasinglyimportant.

Throughout your country research, you should begin to uncover your governments
position in regards to using nuclearenergyasaviableenergysource.
Somedevelopedcountries
have chosen to expand their programs while others have decided to eventually shut down
existing reactors. Many developing countries have already built reactors, however, the initial
costs to building one are often a major hurdle to mostcountries.Developingcountrieswillneed
to decide if they will either ask for technical assistance to develop nuclear technology in their
countries or whether the debate should be more focused on other renewable forms of energy
rather than nuclear energy. Developed countries will also needtoaddressthepreviouspointand
also ponder the extent to whichtheyarewillingtoassistothercountriesintheirquesttodevelop
theirnucleartechnology.


As we will explore the causes and effects of nuclear accidents, it is up to your country to
determine whether a potential disaster will outweigh the benefits of developing nuclear
technology asanoption.Atsomepointinourdiscussions,yourcountrywilldebatethestandards
and practices that will allow for the prevention of another nuclear power disaster, and the
procedures to deal with such an event if it occurs. This is important if a country is willing to
develop nuclear power because the environmental repercussions of a radioactive spill could
outweighthebenefitsofcleanenergy.

Though many fear the use of nuclear weapons, the result from nuclear energy meltdowns have

proven to also be disastrous. These case studies are meant to guide you in your research as you
looktotheresponseguidelinesyourowncountryhasifsuchadisasterweretooccur.

*
Each nucleardisasterisgivenaninternationalnucleareventscalefrom17.Thesearetheonly
twoexampleswherea7hasbeenusedtodescribetheseverityofthedamage.

CASESTUDY1:Chernobyl
InternationalNuclearEventScale:7

The first severe nuclear disaster took place in


the
Chernobyl nuclear power plant
, Ukraine,
which was governed by the former
Soviet
Union.
The region was evacuated as nuclear
contamination spread into the atmosphere,
caused by a fire in the reactors. This was the
first nuclear disaster to be given an indexof7
on the International Nuclear Event Scale, as a plume of nuclear smoke covered western Russian and
Europe.
350,400 people were evacuated and resettled from the most severely contaminated areas of
Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine
. Theofficial deathcounti
s 31
of those dyingdirectly fromthemeltdown,
butitispredictedthatthousandsmorehadradiationsickness.

To address the disaster, a cement structure, called a sarcophagus, was constructed around the nuclear
powerplantin hopes that itwould prevent the continuedreleaseofradiation.
Thesarcophaguslockedin
200 tons of radioactive corium, 30 tons of highly contaminated dust and 16 tons of uranium and
plutonium. The area around the sarcophagus is still inaccessible by humans as radiation levels remain
extremely high. This disaster, though concealed by the Soviet Union, intensive questioning by the
internationalcommunityaboutthestandardswesetfornucleartechnology,andwhoshouldaccessit.

CASESTUDY2:Fukushima
InternationalNuclearEventScalerating:7

The disaster in Fukushima, caused after an


earthquake in Japan flooded the cooling
systems of a nuclear plant, challenged our
interpretation of the safety standards for
nuclear technology today.
The massive
earthquake, and then the tsunami caused the
generators to fail, cutting powerto the critical
pumpsthatmustcontinuouslycirculatecoolant
water through a nuclear reactor for severaldaysin order tokeep it frommeltingdown after beingshut
down. As the pumps stopped, the reactors overhe
ated due to the normal high radioactive decay heat
produced inthefirstfewdaysafternuclearreactorshutdown.
Thesubsequent nuclearcrisiscausedbythe
damage to the plants 6 nuclear reactors has been one of the greatest disasters since the discovery of
nucleartechnology.

In response,
the 20 km radius around the disaster was evacuated, and the gradual return of
electricity reactivated thecoolingsystems.Though onetenthofthenuclear debriswasreleasedinto the
atmosphere compared to the Chernobyl disaster,thetruedanger ofthemeltdown wasthecontaminated
seaandwater.High radiation levelstaken3050kmaroundtheplanthavecausedabanonallagriculture
producedthere.Thelongtermeffectsofradiationsicknessmayclaimupto100livesinyearstocome.

GuidingQuestions:
1

DoesyourcountryhavearelationshipwiththeIAEA?Whataresomeofthecurrent
issuesbeingdiscussedattheIAEAinregardstonuclearenergy?
2

Identify2similaritiesand2differencesbetweenthecausesandresponsestothe
FukushimaandChernobylnaturaldisasters.
3

Ifalevel7eventweretooccurinyourcountry,howdoyouthinkyourcountrys
governmentwouldrespond?WouldtheiractionsbesimilartotheSovietorJapanese
governmentresponse?
4

Toaddressclimatechange,manybelievethatnuclearpowershouldbecomemorewidely
accessibletodevelopingnations.Whatwouldbesomeconcernsinregardstosafety
standardsbyopeningupaccesstonucleartechnology.Whatpositionwouldyourcountry
takeonthisissue?

3.NuclearProliferation
In 2010 the first Nuclear Security Summit was held in Washington D.C. It focused on
how to better safeguard weaponsgrade plutonium and uranium to prevent nuclear terrorism.
Delegates from over fortysix governments attended including delegates from the European
Union, International Atomic Energy Agency, as well as the United Nations. Israel although did
not attend the conference due toconcernsthatdemandswouldbemadetosigntheNuclearNon
Proliferation Treaty. The Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty(NPT) wasa landmark(1968)treaty
in preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology and has been signed by
over 190 parties including the five nuclear weapon states, UnitedStates,France,Russia,United

Kingdom, and China (also 5 permanent members of the Security Council). The spread of
nuclear technology has been opposedbymanynationsduetothethreatofnuclearwarfare. Four
countries beside the five nuclear weapon states (the big five) are presumed to have or trying to
obtain nuclear weapons included India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Israel, which none have
signed the Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty. Also, Iran has continually stated that its uranium
enrichment program is exclusively for peaceful purposes only, however their vast energy
resources combined withathreateningstancetowardsIsraelhaveledtosomesuspicionthatthey
mightbedevelopingnuclearweapons.
WeaponsDistributionVisual
(seenextpage)

GuidingQuestions:
1.Doesyourcountrypossessorcurrentlytryingtopossessnuclearweaponsortechnology?
2.Hasyourcountrysignedanynuclearproliferationtreaties?
3.Hasyourcountrypossessednuclearweaponsinthepast,Ifsowhydidtheyceasepossession?
4.Doesyourcountryhaveallianceswithnuclearbearingcountriesie.UnitedStates,ordothey
haveenemiescontrollingnuclearweapons,orboth?

FramingtheDebate
To start your researchandgetapictureofyourcountryspositiononsustainablesources
of

energy,

look

at

your

countrys

dependency on nuclear energy. Do they use


more coal and fossil fuels as a source of
energy instead? Look at their economy, their
natural resources, their debts, their other
issuesmaybe there are issues that the
country

deems

more important than

developing sustainable nuclear power. Remember, a country must be able to have a sufficient
economy and infrastructure in order to implement nuclear technology safely. Will your country
be willing to develop itsnuclearprogram,orassistdevelopingnationsincreatingnuclearenergy
asanalternativetofossilfuels.

The historyofyourcountrywillbeessentialtodeterminingtheirpoliciestowardsnuclear
power. Are they one of the big five (China, Russia, France, UK, and the US) or permanent
members of the Security Council who have been granted the right to develop nuclear
technology? What was your countrys position during the cold war? Has your country ever
experienced a severe nuclearmeltdown?Howlonghasyourcountry wantedtoachieveanuclear
power program. Look at former resolutions and protocols your country has signed in the past
relating to nuclear energy. These will guide you to your current position and justify the actions
youwishtotakeduringthedebate.

And dont forgetyoull have to be


writing
that protocol (aka resolution) yourselves.
Although it will be relatively impossible to have every single country agree, your countrys
objective is to pass aresolutionthatisfavourabletoyourinterests. Ofcourse,youwillneedto
negotiate and build consensus with other countries toachieveasolutiontonuclearsustainability
challenges.

AGuidetoResolution(s)
A 'resolution' is the final document that you will attempt to pass in your committee.
However, for a resolution to pass (50% +1), you must gain the support of other countries. For
instance, Iran might effectively convince other countrieswithitsspeechesand/or negotiationsto
include a provision in the resolution that explicitly allows ALL countries to have access to
nuclear power as a sustainable source of energy. The United States, on the other hand, might
counter that provision with their own clause restricting the availability of nuclear energy to

IAEA approved countries in order to maintain the nuclear safety. If both countries cannotagree
on a part of the resolution, then they should develop their own resolutions and find other
countries who support it. The only way to have other countries support your resolution is to
allow them to contribute ideas to a resolution just be sure that theyarealsoinyourcountry's
interest. In sum, promoting your country's position in a resolution is essential to earning an
award.

Before you present your resolution to the committee director and chairs, be sure that you have
enoughcommitteesupportsothatitcanactuallypass.

FORMATING
InU.N.Resolutions,thereisoftenaPREAMBLEfollowedbyseveralOPERATIVE
CLAUSES.Forthepurposeofsimplicity,inwhatisafirstModelUNformost,youwillonly
needtoincludetheOPERATIVECLAUSES(oractionclauses).

OPERATIVECLAUSES:
BeginyouroperativeclauseswithstrongINGwordssuchas:
Authorizing

Encouraging

Regretting

Callingupon

Endorsing

Requesting

Condemning

Deploring

Stronglycondemning

Congratulating

Noting

Supporting

Deploring

Recommending

Eachoftheseclausescanhaveverydifferentinterpretations,sotrytobeaspreciseaspossible.If
itseemsthattheresolutionhasaclausethatgoesagainstthepoliciesofyourcountry,even
subtly,campaigntochangeitordraftofyourownresolution.Makesureyouaddress
specificallywith

Nuclearpoweranditspotentialasasustainableenergysource:
Wouldother
sustainablesourcesofenergybemoreefficient,orshouldyourcountrypromotetheuse
ofnuclearpowerasaprimarysourceofenergy?Howwoulddevelopingcountriesbe
abletoaccessthistechnology?
COP 21
:
How would your nation/country choose to address the concerns of COP 21
most notably the 2 degree increase in temperature? Every nation must wholeheartedly
cooperate

to

address

these

issues

considering the severe repercussion on the


environment, economically, socially and
politically. Will Nuclear Energy be an
option to be considered in regards to
solvingtheissue?

Nuclearproliferation:

Whatcountriesshouldhaveaccesstonucleartechnology?What
doesthismeanintermsofimpactontheenvironment?Whatguidelinescanthe
internationalcommunityfollowinordertodecidewhichnationshaveaccesstonuclear
technology?

Nucleardisastersandtheirrepercussions:
Whatguidelinesshouldtheinternational
communityfollowinthecaseofanucleardisaster?Doesyourcountrywanttosee
nucleartechnologyimplementedasapowersourcedespitetheserisks?Aretherecertain
regions,duetoahigherriskofnaturaldisasterwhichshouldnothaveaccesstonuclear
technology?

Afteryouhavecompletedaresolutionandhavesentittothechair,youwillmovevoting

procedure. You will have a chance to explain your resolution to your committee and move
through a question and answer period. After that time, the other nations will vote on your
resolution. If you receive a majority vote of twothirds on your resolution, congratulations! It
willhavepassed,andtheinternationalcommunitycanstarttakingaction.

Directives(OnlytobeUsedforCRISIS)
In a crisis situation, there is no time for complicated resolutions and a much more briefformof
expressing a solution must be used. This is called
a directive which is essentially a demand,
written in straightforward language. You will send your directives tothechair,and there willbe
a brief period todiscussthem.Thecommitteewillgetachancetovoteonthedirectives,andifit
receivesaclearmajority,youarewellonyourwaytosolvingthecrisis.

Anexampleofadirectivewouldbe:
The United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Canada
will bring in financial and
technological assistance to prevent the further spread of nuclear waste from the power plant
meltdowninIndia.

BlocPositions
What should emerge from yourresearchveryquicklyisthattherearetwomajorblocson
this issuetheglobalSouth (developing/industrializing)andtheglobalNorth(developed/
industrialized). Once you have determined in which of these two groups you belong, your
research should begin to point you in aclearerdirection.Thisiswhereyouwillbegintoseethat
it isnotasblackandwhiteasyouoriginallythought.Thereareemergingpowerssuch asBrazil
and India who are fighting for increased use of Nuclear Technology in the globalsouthwhile
some developing countries are barely able to sustain their basic agriculture, let alone a nuclear
powerplant.

Though many countriesintheglobalnorthwouldsupporttheexpansionofsustainablepower,


there are many internal groups, such as Greenpeace, who are against the spread of nuclear
technologyasitmightleadtothedevelopmentofnuclearweaponsordisasters.
The position of your country will invariably guide you to the Middle East. As conflicteruptsin
alongtheGazaStripwhileyouarereadingthis,itisindisputablethatIsraelsprecarioussituation
is safeguarded by its stores of nuclear technology and weapons. Many developed countries will
demand that the rest of the Middle East halt their research and advances in nuclear technology.
Developing nations will likely support the plight of Iran and its neighbours to acquire nuclear
technology. However do not forget that this is a discussion on climate change and though the
threat of international conflict will outline the position of your country,theprimaryobjectiveof
this conference is to ensure that sustainable development is possible through the use of nuclear
technology.

GettingWhatYouWant
Diplomacy is an art. As pointed out by
the artist of this cartoon (or the otheroneabove),
George W. Bush wasnt recognized as a skillful
diplomat rather he used force to crush those
that opposed his agenda. On the other hand,
Obamas efforts to engage Americas foes in a
dialogue earned him the Nobel Peace Prize. In
short,itsnoteasytobeaskillfuldiplomat.

Believe it or not, you attempt to employ the skills of diplomacy on a regular basis.
Whether its with a roommatewhoseiPhoneyouwouldliketouseorwithyourSpanishteacher

who might just give you an extension on an assignment because of a convincing argument. In
short,effectivediplomacydoespayoff.

On December 3rd, you will be called upon to use your diplomatic skills to build an
agreement with other nations. For instance, declaring war on another country isnt very
diplomaticandshouldnthappenatthisconference.

In a nutshell, you need to go into the Model UN on December 3rd with a wishlist but also a
bottom line. If the resolutiondoesntmeetyourbottomline,you
cannot
signontoit. Ifyoure
a skillful negotiator, you might just get more than you bargained for. But your wish list
COMPLETELY DEPENDS ON YOUR COUNTRY. Costa Ricas wish list will be much
different from Frances. On the other hand, your job is to find the commongroundbybuilding
consensus.

Throughout the conference, you must play the role of your country. You cannot think like you
usually do. If you have researched your country and topic sufficiently, you will be acting like
youreactuallyarepresentativefromyourcountry.

HelpfulModelUNResources

ThingsYouShouldHaveinYourResearchBinder
CIAWorldFactbook
ModelUNResearch:MoreinformationonCountries/Resolution/Groups&Etc.
HowToWriteaResolution
RulesofProcedure(IMPORTANT)

REFERENCES:

ClimateScoreboard.(2013,December18).
https://www.climateinteractive.org/tools/
scoreboard/
RetrievedNovember8,2015.

UnitedNationsCOP21.(n.d.).RetrievedNovember11,2015,from
http://www.cop21paris.org/about/cop21

OTHERSTOBEPOSTEDSHORTLY