Rotaract mun human rights council studyguide


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Rotaract mun human rights council studyguide

  1. 1. Rotaract Global Model United Nations | August 21-25, 2013 | Baia Mare, | | Tel: +40 758.922.5431HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCILSTUDY – GUIDETopic: The impact of climate change on indigenous communitiesPrepared by:Aanuoluwapo AfolabiAnindya Nastiti RestuvianiOn the date of:June, 2013
  2. 2. Rotaract Global Model United Nations | August 21-25, 2013 | Baia Mare, | | Tel: +40 758.922.5432Word of WelcomeSecretary General of Rotaract Global Model United Nations 2013I am pleased to greet all prospective participants,chairpersons and professionals who support this unique initiativeled by Rotaract TEAM Baia Mare in 2013. For centuries, youtharound the world have shown incredible skills and willingness tobring about change in their respective contexts. Due to theinterconnectedness that globalization and social media revealedin the last century, nowadays, young people share a globalresponsibility which is reflected through complex internationalprojects such as Baia Mare TEAM 2013 Rotaract Global ModelUnited Nations.Baia Mare TEAM 2013 Rotaract Global Model United Nations is a youth - ledconference which aims to provide young leaders, youth workers and junior professionals atool for influencing the decision-making at a global level. I encourage participants to expresstheir visions of the world in regards to the challenging political, economic and social contextsin which they develop as citizens, social actors and/or leaders. The theme of this conferenceis Youth: Global Actors for a New World. With the increasing number of demonstrationsand manifests throughout the world, the young generation has to face the challenges of thepast and act for change. In an instable political and economic environment, youth must beincluded in the decision-making process in order to ensure representativeness andtransparency.I want to remind everyone that this conference’s aim is not to create leaders, becauseyou already are leaders, but to engage you in a two - way learning process. On the one hand,the conference and its team help youth to develop excellent public speaking, communicationand negotiation skills as well as trains them in using the UN language. On the other hand,participants bring vision, ground-breaking solutions and a holistic yet creative approach onthe issues discussed during the conference. Only through cooperation will we be able toachieve our goal: to influence the decision-making and give voice to the younger generation. Itrust that you can help us in our endeavours!By participating in the Baia Mare TEAM 2013 Rotaract Global Model United Nations,you represent the change you wish to see in the world. Young people will lead by exampleand will be part of the global family by promoting the UN values and principles. We arelooking forward to meeting you this summer in the beautiful city of Baia Mare!Yours sincerely,Ms. Alexandra MateiSecretary General of Rotaract Global Model United Nations 2013
  3. 3. Rotaract Global Model United Nations | August 21-25, 2013 | Baia Mare, | | Tel: +40 758.922.5433Human Rights Council- Chairpersons –Delegates,My name is Anindya Nastiti Restuviani or you can call me Vivi. Brief introductionabout myself: I am an Indonesian young person, and also a senior student of the Faculty ofLaw majoring in International Law at the Universitas Diponegoro in Semarang, Indonesia.Besides my enrolment in university I am also currently working for United NationsPopulation Fund as one of Youth Advisory Panel.It is my distinct pleasure to be selected and serve you all as one of the chairperson ofHuman Rights Council for this year Rotaract Global Model United Nations 2013. The topicsfor this year’s HRC have considerate to be able to cater the outmost importance in exercisingthe idea of human rights itself. As climate change has been included in every regional andglobal assessment, the fairly distributed efforts are also needed by indigenous people as asociety whose life depends on the environment. I believe that this year’s HRC will create suchvibrant debate during the session and will come out with the most fruitful final resolution.Best,Ms. Anindya Nastiti RestuvianiChairperson of the Human Rights Council
  4. 4. Rotaract Global Model United Nations | August 21-25, 2013 | Baia Mare, | | Tel: +40 758.922.5434Human Rights Council- Chairpersons –Dear Delegates,It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to Rotaract Global Model United Nations.My name is Aanuoluwapo Afolabi, a Nigerian student currently studying Political Scienceand Diplomacy at Ajou University, South Korea. First of all, I want to sincerely thank you foryour interest in participating in this global decision-making process. We, the youth are thefuture and that’s why we have to take a major role in deciding the future we want. It is themission of this conference to serve this purpose.I promise you that participating as a delegate on the Human Rights Council will be ahighly rewarding experience. We will be discussing about the use of technology formitigating the impact of climate change on traditional people. Climate change is a reality weall daily face and see with our own eyes. The sad part of this is that no spell had done this tous, we did this to ourselves! Therefore, we must find effective ways in solving the problem inour own interest. The sooner the better!As the Chairperson of the Human Rights Council, I’m looking forward to critical,analytical debates and sessions which will bring viable solutions. I am looking forward tomeeting you all in Baia Mare this summer!See you soon!Best,Mr. Aanuoluwapo AfolabiChairperson of the Human Rights Council
  5. 5. Rotaract Global Model United Nations | August 21-25, 2013 | Baia Mare, | | Tel: +40 758.922.5435Introduction to the Human Rights CouncilHuman Rights Council has functions and responsibilities to strengthen the promotion,protection of human rights and to address the issue of human rights violations. The HumanRight Council was first established back in 15 March 2006 through the United NationsGeneral Assembly resolution 60/251. The Council was created to replace the former UnitedNations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR). The special procedure which wasestablished by the former United Nations Commission on Human Rights was also assumed bythe Council and consists of the special rapporteurs, special representatives, independentexperts, and working group all of which work closely to monitor, examine, advise, and makepublic reports on the issue of human rights situation in specific country or around the globe.The Council itself consists of 47 United Nations Member States elected by the GeneralAssembly, and it meets at the United Nations Office at Geneva. The Council also has itsprivilege to create a recommendation to support their responsibility and functions to promote,protect, and address the human rights situations around the globe. It also has the ability todiscuss thematic issues and situations on human rights that require attention. As the subsidiaryorgan of the General Assembly, the Assembly has its mandate to review the initial status ofthe Council within 5 years. This review is established in order for the Assembly to work on itsmandate to supervise the performance of the Council.Its first outcome after one year since its establishment, the Human Rights Counciladopted a guide for its works by procedure and mechanism trough the ‘institution buildingpackage’ in 2007. Together with the Institution-building package, the Council also came upwith an adoption to assist mechanism that serves to assess the human right situations in allUnited Nations Member States called Universal Periodic Review.There are two committees under Human Rights Council that provide assessment tohelp the work of the Council to achieve their goal: The Advisory Committee will help as theCouncil’s think tank by providing expertise and advice on thematic human rights issues, andthe Complaint Procedure that allows individuals and organizations to bring human rightsviolations to the attention of the Council.The former United Nations Commission on Human Rights has adopted variousoutcomes which turned into basic regulation and instruments to address human rights issuesand situations around the globe - among them are the Universal Declaration on HumanRights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, International Covenant onEconomic, Social and Cultural Rights, and many other instruments on human rights.The Rotaract Model United Nations 2013 Human Rights Council will examine thehumanitarian aspect of the impact of climate change on the indigenous people within thecontext of inclusive participation and technology sharing.In this year Rotaract MUN, the Human Rights Council will work closely with theseveral resolution, convention, covenant or declaration that connected to the rights oftraditional and indigenous people such as United Nations Declaration on The Rights ofIndigenous People, and also to the United Nations Forum of Convention on Climate Changeas in Kyoto Protocol, Cancun Declaration, REDD, REDD+, and any other instruments onclimate change.
  6. 6. Rotaract Global Model United Nations | August 21-25, 2013 | Baia Mare, | | Tel: +40 758.922.5436Introduction to the TopicThe Impact of Climate Change to the Indigenous PeopleSubtopic A - The Mechanism of Inclusive Participation in the Decision Making ProcessAmong the most important tools to be discussed, traditional and indigenous people areoften to be considered as a society which lives closely to the nature and environment.However, during the process of decision making that involves the issue of climate change thataffects the surrounding environment, indigenous people are seen as ‘under-representative’,thus, their importance was not acknowledged to the international society. This council feelsthat this importance needs to be catered in order so that the international society understandsthe vulnerability of the indigenous people or individuals on the impact of climate change.The rapid development of technology nowadays can somehow help the society tomitigate and reduce the effect of climate change; better yet, to prevent the continuity ofclimate change. Although most of the urban society has acknowledged and is familiar with theexistence of such technology, traditional people that live in remote area are somehow unawareof the existence of the technology that can mitigate the impact of climate change and safetheir life. Thus, it is also our importance and concerns to gain the awareness of the traditionalpeople to exhaust their rights on technological facility to save their life from the impact ofclimate change.A. Statement of the problemIt is estimated that there are more than 370 million indigenous people spread acrossthe globe (UNFCCC, 2009). They practice unique traditions, cultures, economic and politicalcharacteristic. Those characteristics bared by indigenous people have retained a very distinctmethod from those found in other segments on the urban populations. They hold their ownconcept and views which are based on their traditional values, visions, needs, and priorities.Traditional and indigenous people have a very big dependency on the environment andthe natural resources to maintain their livelihoods. The issue of climate change to them isdefined as something more than an environmental problem. Even though in reality,indigenous people have successfully adapted to the on going impact of climate changethrough thousands of years, they believe the situation of climate change from the past severalyears has proven to be problematic and the flow of the damage has been very challenging; thisputs their ability to adapt to a test.The background on the inclusive participation to the climate change discourse hasbasically been raised since the issue of the recognition of the fact that indigenous people haveso many things in common with other neglected segments of the society; this such as:marginalization, lack of access to social services and etc. However, given the UniversalDeclaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP), the rights of indigenous peoplestarted to be recognized.Since the impact of climate change directly jeopardizes not only their livelihoods, butalso matters of their existence, economy, political and cultural preservation, climate change is
  7. 7. Rotaract Global Model United Nations | August 21-25, 2013 | Baia Mare, | | Tel: +40 758.922.5437a reality for them; it is a severe human rights crisis that needs to be addressed immediatelyand accordingly.When the international society has tried to cope and mitigate the impact of climatechange in their own way, indigenous people felt that their importance was being neglectedand excluded from the adopted solutions or resolutions, namely by the United NationsFramework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). They believe if international societygives them such an opportunity, they will able to substantially give their outmost contribution.B. Analysis of the problemIn the Brundlant Report of 1987 or commonly known as the United Nations Report ofthe World Commission on Environment and Development or the book of Our CommonFuture, shares the idea of climate change and many other global catastrophes caused by thecharacteristics of urban societies in pursuing their demand in increasing their standards of life.Indigenous people have suffered the worstimpacts of climate change without havingcontributed much to its creation (IndigenousPeoples Forum on Climate Change, Bali 2007). Itis widely accepted that poor, natural-resourcedependent communities in the developing worldare especially vulnerable to climate change,especially those living in high risk areas such assmall islands or low lying coastal areas (Adger,2006, IPCC 2007).Indigenous people have created several traditional ways to adapt with the currentcondition, such as supplementary irrigation, traditional farming techniques to protectwatersheds, use of new material, rainwater harvesting, and many more. However, the adaptionmethods mentioned above are still incapable to address the vulnerability to the further impactof climate change since the efficiency aspect in information sharing and distribution to thecommunity are still questioned.The international society believes that it is time to put the importance and necessity ofindigenous people into main consideration. Besides the indigenous people’s dependency onthe natural resources, their rights, culture, livelihoods, traditional knowledge and their identityare based on the profound and deep relationship that forged over years within their lands,waters, and resources.1. Mitigation MechanismThere are some mitigation measures created by the climate change mitigationinstrument namely the United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change(UNFCCC). The UNFCCC has adopted many ways to mitigate climate change, including theadoption of Kyoto Protocol, REDD and many other
  8. 8. Rotaract Global Model United Nations | August 21-25, 2013 | Baia Mare, | | Tel: +40 758.922.5438The aim of the UNFCCC is to set an overall framework for intergovernmental effortsto tackle the challenge posed by climate change and to stabilize the green house gasconcentration in the atmosphere to the level that will prevent the dangerous level to the humaninterference.The main decision of the UNFCCC called as the Conference of the Parties (COP) thatcomposed by 180 states that have ratified or acceded to the agreement. Since theestablishment of the UNFCCC itself has created so many solutions and resolutions to mitigatethe impact of climate change.Kyoto ProtocolThe Kyoto Protocol (KP), as it is named, was adopted during the COP3 at the Kyoto,Japan in 1997. It shares the main goal of the UNFCCC - to stabilize the Green House Gas(GHG) emission; the difference is that the KP is urging the parties to commit to do so. Theprotocol itself categorized the member states as developed countries (Annex I/AI) and thedeveloping countries (Annex II) .In order for the Protocol to achieve its main objective, it has a mechanism called theInnovative Mechanism that included the emission credits system that allows the developed ordeveloping parties to show their commitment to the Protocol. The Innovative Mechanismitself consists of 3 mechanisms.Emission Trading will allowcountries to exchange their emissionallowance, the flow of the EmissionTrading itself is similar to the tradingcommodities in the market place.The Joint Implementation will allowdeveloped countries to financeprojects that reduce the emissions inanother developed country, so theywill earn the emissions reduction unit. Clean Development Mechanism allows the Protocol’sdeveloped parties to implement the project that reduces GHG emission, or subject toconstraints in the developing parties.The problem within the Protocol as it is seen above is that it is not concerning muchabout the existence of the indigenous people. The main objective of the NationallyAppropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) that was established in the Bali Action Plan took intoconsideration the action or measures taken in order to cut down the GHG emission; on theother hand, the protocol or NAMA itself never considers the existence of indigenous people.The climate change mitigation is not only an issue about cutting down the GHG but also anissue of equity, social justice and human rights and also the sustainability. The secondproblem is that indigenous people are not part of the protocol, however, they still contributesignificantly in cutting down the GHG emission by simply preserving their naturalenvironment and habitat and putting the natural environment as their first concern (IUCN,March 2008)
  9. 9. Rotaract Global Model United Nations | August 21-25, 2013 | Baia Mare, | | Tel: +40 758.922.5439The implementation of some activities based on the CDM and other mechanism areundermined and bring potential threats to the right of indigenous people to their land,territories and resources. Taking example a condition during the carbon offset project in thewestern highland, in Guatemala. The USA back in 1989 decided to build a 83 megawatt coalfired power station that involved planting millions of trees in the impoverished westernhighland in Guatemala. The non-native trees that were planted were inappropriate for thelocal ecosystem and caused land degradation. The indigenous people on those areas, whichare the Maya, had their habitual activities such as gathering fuel wood, etc. Until now, theevaluators concluded that the offset target was far from being reached.REDD/REDD+REDD or Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation is a schemewith the aim to encourage developing countries to protect their forests while developedcountries would pay them. Its aim is to compensate the developing countries so that they donot cut their carbon rich forests or reduce their deforestation and forest degradation rates,thus, avoiding the GHG emissions.The indigenous people who live in and depend on the forests developed suchrelationship with the forest and they do not understand how one can look at forests only interms of emissions reduction.The major problem in realizing REDD/REDD+ is that there are still plenty of on goingissues on claims over ownership, governance, control, use and access to the forests especiallyin the tropical country. The indigenous people claim that they have never been approachedand are not yet satisfied to the arrangement of the forest claims, both on regional or globallevels.Even though there is no common status among indigenous people within theirengagement to REDD/REDD+, however, they believe that all their rights should be respectedand protected.2. The Vulnerability of Indigenous PeopleIt is important to be aware that indigenous people are the ones who contributed least inthe creation of the climate change crisis. However, indigenous people themselves suffer themost from its impact.Each indigenous people and tribes live in different ecosystems that spread around theglobe. They live in a dry and sub-humid ecosystem, polar ecosystem, forest ecosystem, highaltitude and high mountain ecosystem, agricultural ecosystem, and any other ecosystems.Taking example the tropical and sub tropical ecosystem, the climate change hasbrought a huge impact on certain conditions such as: changes in the behaviour of migrationpatterns among birds which are usually used as a guidance for hunters and mark theagricultural season, the unavailability of drinking waters and forest fires causing loss in forestcovers, causing more drought or floods that caused the cultural disruptions since the sacredareas have to be abandoned and at the end the cultural and traditional practices cannot becontinued, and the existences of more floods and many natural disasters brought more
  10. 10. Rotaract Global Model United Nations | August 21-25, 2013 | Baia Mare, | | Tel: +40 758.922.54310diseases such as dengue, malaria; for example, in Ghana, meningitis that previously was notan endemic disease, started to emerge.Distinct from the condition in tropical area, the semi – arid and arid lands suffer fromless rainfall which resulted due to the occurrences of dust storms that degrade grasslands thatin the end, decreases the livestock and creates hunger and food insecurity. The heat also driedup many water resources. The indigenous people have to dig deeper and deeper in order forthem to reach the water resources, and sometimes it is hard to accomplish this because thepoverty level is very high.The solutions brought by the international society, namely by the Kyoto Protocol,REDD or REDD+, are still not suitable to be implemented in this environment; especiallyregarding the indirect effect to the solution in mitigating climate change. Nevertheless, itbrings damages to the rights of indigenous people instead.The mechanism implementation has brought violations to the rights of indigenouspeople to their lands, territories and resources, criminalization of practice of traditionallivelihood, and increase in food prices resulting in more food insecurity for indigenouspeople. The massive changes in the environment due to the efforts in implementation, hasresulted in the lack of fields and lands to be work on; thus, indigenous people will have few,difficult and dangerous jobs. The implementation also creates health problems and inequitablebenefit sharing, such as the unjustified provision of jobs and employment to the indigenouspeople, and the claims of the land and territories.REDD undermined the forest sustainability and somehow threatens further the right ofthe indigenous people to their forest. This is causing the disappearance of the traditionalterritories which have become the basic of their economic, social, cultural and spiritualsystem, since many areas covered by the mitigation measures are cultural and sacred placesfor the indigenous people.However, with such acomplicated problem that they arethrived with, they are very rarelyconsidered in public discourses onclimate change; they find it verydifficult to contribute and theirconcerns to be taken into consideration.They believe that they need to createanother body for them to share theirthoughts and contribute to the solution,a body like the International IndigenousForum on Biodiversity (IIFBD) that was created by the Convention on Biological Diversity(CBD)
  11. 11. Rotaract Global Model United Nations | August 21-25, 2013 | Baia Mare, | | Tel: +40 758.922.54311C. Past Actions Taken1. The Universal Declaration on the Right of Indigenous PeopleThe Declaration was adopted back in 2006 at the recommendation of the previousUnited Nations Commission on Human Rights. UNDRIP has become a giant leap to therecognition of the indigenous people among their rights to be respected and protected. TheDeclaration also became the ground instrument for indigenous people to pursue their rights inparticipation as it is stated in the article 5 of UNDRIP.Any mitigation mechanism that will create a possible threat, which will jeopardize theright of indigenous people, in fact, will be a violation of UNDRIP, particularly in respect toarticle 8.2. Anchorage DeclarationOn April 2009, for the first time, indigenous representatives from all over the worlddecided to gather in Anchorage, Alaska, to share their experiences and knowledge aboutdifferent ways to adapt to the impacts of climate change.The Anchorage Declaration itself, in article 5 emphasizes the security in regards to therecognition and the implementation of the right of indigenous people during the mitigationmechanism, especially when the mechanism took place in their land tenure and ownership.Indigenous people, through the Anchorage Declaration, wish for more traditional methods andcustomary law as respectful to the indigenous people before any action takes place.3. UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (UNFCCC COP)After all responses were received from indigenous people regarding the mitigationmechanism, the UNFCCC decided to bring more contributions from the indigenous people byallowing them to share their views, ideas and experiences from implementation of themitigation scheme.Since 1998, the representatives of indigenous and traditional people have beenparticipating in the UNFCCC Conferences of the Parties. During the participation of theindigenous people to COP, they actually have released numbers of statements that expressedtheir feelings, concerns and discontentedness related to the implications of climate changepolicies towards their lives and culture.However, until now, indigenous people are still waiting for the approval of an ad hocWorking Group on Indigenous People and the Climate Change by the UNFCCC.
  12. 12. Rotaract Global Model United Nations | August 21-25, 2013 | Baia Mare, | | Tel: +40 758.922.54312D. Proposed SolutionsWhat we need to do first is to discuss how we should examine the obstacle to achieveeffective participation of indigenous people in the decision making process; what we shoulddo is too look up to the references from national parliaments.Second of all, we need to identify ways in which indigenous people can be stimulated andassisted in the strategies for effective participation.It is also important to facilitate more on the sharing experiences, lessons learned andchallenges - not only at national level but also across regions, continents and the globe.During the facilitation, it is also important to stimulate the discussion about what works andwhat does not work in ensuring the effective participation and representation of indigenouspeople.Lastly, the most important part is to raise awareness on the vulnerability of indigenouspeople to the climate change, and on the rights of indigenous people for inclusiveparticipation.E. Bloc PositionsThe bloc positions have been created based on each area’s environmental characteristicregarding the impact of climate change.1. Tropical and sub tropical countries, such as South East Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia,Philippines, etc), Latin America (Brazil, Venezuela, etc) , and some part of Australia.These countries share the same environmental characteristic where there are a lot of rainforests laid on their areas. They have more problems within the discussion on themechanism used to participate in the legal framework, on the claims of land and territoryof the forest during the implementation of REDD/REDD+.2. Arid Lands, such as African Countries (Ghana, etc) share the common environmentalcharacteristic that is dry land, lack of water resources and food stocks. Their mainproblem is the food insecurity.3. High Altitude and High Mountain, consists of northern European countries, Canada,Asia, and North America. The ecosystem of the high altitude and high mountaincharacteristic bare the same concerns on the melting mountain glaciers that will endangertheir water supply.4. Marine Area, Small Island states in the Caribbean islands. Their biggest concerns aretowards the climate change, since the raising sea level will endanger the existence of theirisland as a whole.5. The Arctic Ecosystem, as the climate change barometer. The second one is according tothe definition of developed and developing countries stated in the Kyoto Protocol (AnnexI and Annex II country) and the least developed countries. This division will discuss oneach country procedure, on the recognition of the right of indigenous people and mostimportantly, about the implementation of the mitigation process on their legaljurisdiction.
  13. 13. Rotaract Global Model United Nations | August 21-25, 2013 | Baia Mare, | | Tel: +40 758.922.54313F. Thinker’s (Question A Resolution Must Answer)1. Do the advocacy efforts provided by NGOs, International Organization on IndigenousPeople, United Nations and any other parties sufficiently considered to cater theimportance of Indigenous People? Is it necessary to create an advocacy body to catertheir importance? And if yes, what is the best mechanism to achieve this?2. What role does UNDRIP and other basic instruments of the indigenous people shouldhave for the implementation of inclusive participation for the indigenous people?3. Did the agenda, created during the past actions, integrated the human rights basedapproach to the development and importance of indigenous people?4. What is the best way that national government can undertake in order to implementtheir contribution and commitment to the UNFCCC without jeopardizing theimportance of Indigenous People?5. What kind of method will produce the most effective mechanism to emphasize theawareness of the society in respect to the rights of indigenous people?G. Recommended ReadingsI would like to suggest you to take a deep understanding of the basic instruments onthe rights of indigenous people, included but not limited to:1. United Nations The Universal Declaration of Human Rights – available at: Universal Declaration on the Right of Indigenous People – available at: All information regarding the UNFCCC and its Conference of The Parties can befound online at:, and the Anchorage Declaration - available at: The Report of Our Common Future or The Brundlant Report (1987)5. I also suggest you to find various literature from several countries on the report ofIndigenous People especially its connection to climate change policy -REDD/REDD+, a lot of national, regional or international NGO havee a lot of reportson this condition; for example, Guide on The Climate Change and Indigenous People
  14. 14. Rotaract Global Model United Nations | August 21-25, 2013 | Baia Mare, | | Tel: +40 758.922.54314that was written by the Tebtebba Foundation, and also Issues Paper on Indigenousand Traditional Peoples and Climate Change by IUCN.6. Several reports on country policy and its ratification on the issue of Kyoto Protocol,REDD/REDD+ and its link back to the issue of indigenous people.
  15. 15. Rotaract Global Model United Nations | August 21-25, 2013 | Baia Mare, | | Tel: +40 758.922.54315Introduction to the TopicThe Impact of Climate Change to the Indigenous PeopleSubtopic B - The Use of Technology to mitigate climate change on traditional peopleClimate Change and its impact on our environment, our economies and our security, isthe defining issue of our era (OECD report, 2008). It is one of the most critical, and also mostdaunting, challenges facing policymakers in the twenty-first century (World Bank 2010).World Green House gases emissions which are emitted by many economic activities haveroughly doubled since the early 1970s and if not controlled could rise by over 70% during2008-2050. Quantitatively, the largest share is accounted for by power generation (about26%), followed by industry (about 19%) and transportation (13%). It must be noted thatdeforestation and forest degradation are estimated to account for more emissions globally thanthe entire transport sector (OECD report, 2008). Our ability to avoid the worst climate changeimpacts depends on mitigation efforts we make over the next two or three decades.At the very heart of mitigating climate change is the use of technology. Therefore, thedebate is not so much about the importance of new technology in solving climate changeproblem but rather over what the most effective policies and institutions are for achieving thedramatic technological changes and associated emission reductions necessary forstabilization. Overall, this study guide aims to emphasize on the huge importance of the use oftechnology in mitigating climate change. The impact of climate change is all around us tosee; and the sooner we act at this critical moment in history, the better for us all. Firstly, thisstudy guide gives the statement of the problem by giving definitions of the concept related toclimate change. The history of climate change is also briefly explained with a focus on theactors involved. Secondly, an analysis of climate change is given, this aims to describe thecauses of climate change and why it still exists. The third part deals with the past actions ofthe UN and some other stakeholders in mitigating climate change. This study guide could notmention or fully discuss all the past actions because of its scope and limit. Actions that havebeen taken to mitigate climate changeare numerous. However, the mostrelevant ones to our discussion at theRotaract Global Model UnitedNations 2013 are mentioned anddiscussed. While writing individualposition papers, delegates are urged toresearch more on this. The next part isabout some of the important solutionsthat have been proposed in mitigatingclimate change. In this section too,because many solutions have beenproposed, in the course of writingindividual position paper, more solutions proposed are expected to be covered. The solutionsdiscussed in this study guide aim to serve as a background to more effective solutions to beproposed during our discussions and debates in the Human Rights
  16. 16. Rotaract Global Model United Nations | August 21-25, 2013 | Baia Mare, | | Tel: +40 758.922.54316A. Statement and analysis of the problemAccording to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, climatechange means a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activitythat alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to naturalclimate variability observed over comparable time period. Simply put, it is a change inworld’s climate as a result of human activities. The build-up of greenhouse gases in theatmosphere is already affecting the global climate. Historically, energy-related GHGemissions were predominantly from the richer developed countries of the OECD, even today,the rise in GHG concentration is largely accounted for by economic activity in thesecountries. The developing countries outside the OECD, account for two-thirds of the flow ofemissions into the atmosphere, however, without new policies, developing countries wouldaccount for most of the projected increase in world greenhouse gas emissions over the comingdecades. The absence of reliable clean energy and services imposes a huge disease burden onlow-income populations which hinders prospects for development.Mitigation refers to thepolicies and measures designed toreduce greenhouse gas emissions.Measures can include reducingdemand for emissions-intensivegoods and services, increasing theuse of low-carbon technologiesand renewable energy. Mitigationcan also be made by enhancing“sinks”-reservoirs that absorbCO2, such as forests or peat dogs(Know Climate Change n.d.). Ifno action is taken soon, theworld’s global greenhouse gas emissions will continue to grow over the next few decades andthe global temperature could rise by as much as 6.4 C this century. In fact, without actionemissions of the six main greenhouse gases - carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfurhexafluoride, PFCs and HFCs- are projected to rise by 25-90 per cent by 2030. Over the pastthree decades, greenhouse emissions have said to increase by an average of 1.6 percentannually. About 55 percent of greenhouse emissions are immediately absorbed by the upperoceans and terrestrial biosphere while the remainder enters the atmosphere and is removed bythe ocean and terrestrial sinks only very gradually (Intergovernmental Panel on ClimateChange 2007). As indicated earlier, it must be noted that Deforestation amounts for about 20percent of greenhouse gas emissions, with most forest land cleared for agricultural use. Ifmanaged effectively, forests are net carbon sinks, able to permanently absorb about one-tenthof global CO2 emissions into biomass, soil and forest products (United Nations n.d.).According to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the leadinginternational body for the assessment of climate change, warming of the climate system isabsolute. It has been shown from increases in global average air and ocean temperatures,
  17. 17. Rotaract Global Model United Nations | August 21-25, 2013 | Baia Mare, | | Tel: +40 758.922.54317widespread melting of snow, ice and rising global average sea levels. The impacts of climatechange can be seen around the globe through floods, droughts, and an increased frequencyand intensity of severe weather events. These impacts are projected to increase over thecourse of the 21stcentury. Studies have shown that the annual average arctic sea ice extentshrunk is 2.7 per cent per decade. The sea level is on the rise, glaciers are melting andseasonal shifts are constantly on the rise.B. Past ActionIn mitigating climate change, the UN has been involved in several actions. This studyguide will give three main actions which basically summarize the UN action. Makingcommitments is part of the action that has been taken by both UN and other stakeholders.Truth is, several commitments have been made by both developed and developing nations tomitigate climate change but the question is how did they live up to these commitments? Forexample, just last year on December 6 in Doha, ministers from 25 nations at a ministerialmeeting during the UN Climate Change Convention Conference committed to enhancingvoluntary action to reduce short-lived climate pollutants. Also, in 2009 at the United NationsClimate Conference in Copenhagen, several industrialized countries set a goal of mobilizingUS$100 billion per year by 2012 to advance mitigation in developing countries. According tothis report, the Secretary-General’s high level Advisory Group on climate financing “foundthat raising US$100 billion per year is challenging but feasible”. These commitments rangefrom support in financing to transfer of technologies.Another past action which is worth mentioning is the Clean Development Mechanism(CDM). This system was designed to meet two objectives which are, firstly to help developedcountries engage in cost-effective emission reduction targets under Kyoto Protocol and assistdeveloping countries which are also non-annex 1 parties in achieving sustainabledevelopment. The CDM mechanism, established under the Kyoto Protocol, stimulates bothsustainable development and reduction of emission while giving industrialized countries someflexibility in meeting targets of their emission reduction. The first CDM project wasregistered in 2004. According to the Kyoto protocol, the CDM provides a legal frameworkwhich allows developing countries earn Certified Emission Reduction (CER) credits based onemission-reduction projects. Each of these credits is equivalent to one tone of CO2. CDM hasbeen said to be a success so far even though there are concerns such as overall efficiency andthe risk of fraud. Schneider, a France-based multinational corporation specializing inelectricity distribution, automation management and production of installation components forenergy management, once commented that if those concerns are properly taken care of, CDMwill continue to be an “important instrument in the fight against climate change”. Simply put,CDM serves as a marketplace for technology diffusion opportunities.Furthermore, efforts have been made to leave existing forests intact coupled withplanting new trees. As explained earlier, if effectively managed, forests can serve as goodsinks to absorb green house gas emissions. However, since deforestation account for about20percent of emissions, afforestation is a good means of mitigating. The United NationsCollaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation
  18. 18. Rotaract Global Model United Nations | August 21-25, 2013 | Baia Mare, | | Tel: +40 758.922.54318in Developing Countries (UN-REDD), launched in 2008 is responsible for the abovementioned mitigation effects.C. Proposed SolutionsObviously, inaction is not an option in mitigating climate change. In solving thisinsidious problem, several solutions have been proposed by various stakeholders andresearchers. However, all these solutions can be categorized into two main approaches whichare the mitigation approach and the adaptation approach. The mitigation approach deals withthe reduction of dependence on fossil fuels i.e. moving to a low cost, carbon free system byfocusing on renewable and on energy gains. The adaptation approach explains finding wayswhich will allow people and communities to cope with the impacts of climate change. Low-emissions technologies as a force for mitigating climate change can be implemented in everysector of the economy. These technological options are needed to keep mitigation costs low.As concluded byIPCC, there is no singleeconomically andtechnologically feasiblesolution to climate change.This is why at the point ofevery discussion, coordinatedaction at the international levelis needed to harness the fulleffect of clean technologiesand energy efficiency. iAlso,individual governments shouldmake efforts in promoting awide range of options likenatural gas and renewableenergy technologies. Improving public awareness on energy sufficiency is also veryimportant. Some of the current marketable clean technologies include solar panels, windturbines, biomass, wind turbines, hydro-power generation, hybrid vehicles using electric andcombustion engines and nuclear power. In short, the government’s support for more researchand development into innovative clean technologies is an empirical solution to climatechange.Also, according to the International Energy Agency, another solution especially in thedeveloping countries is transfer of technology by developed countries so as to avoid thepolluting technologies of the past. The first approach explains the cost-effective approachwhich uses models of the economic and climate system. The cost-effective approach is alsoknown as integrated assessment models. The cost-effective approach ensures that incentivesare given to undertake research and development (R&D) and innovate energy-saving andclimate-friendly technologies. Technology has taken us beyond what even our
  19. 19. Rotaract Global Model United Nations | August 21-25, 2013 | Baia Mare, | | Tel: +40 758.922.54319never imagined by making our lives better. However, it is important to note that “even ifinnovative and effective technologies emerge, they will not be intensely used until their costscome down close to those of existing competing technologies, unless incentives are put inplace for people to use themii. Therefore, the cost-effective approach must be seriously putinto consideration in other to foster an effective technological means of mitigating climatechange.Financing of low-carbon reduction technologies by developed nations in developingcountries or least developed nations is also a proposed solution to mitigating climate change.Because least developing nations and developing nations’ financial incapability to financelow-carbon reduction technology, financial help will help a great deal in mitigating climatechange in these countries.D. Bloc PositionsAll countries have come to realize the dilapidating effects of climate change and thenecessity to solve it together. Report of the Copenhagen conference shows the positions ofeach nation’s position on mitigating climate change, various talks and agreements were madeand agreements. For the purpose of this model United Nations, I will not go into all the talksand commitments that were made by each country. I will dwell on the disagreements betweenmainly US and China. It must be noted that United States and European Union occupy nearlythe same position in mitigating climate change while China and India stand at the oppositeend.Even though all nations recognize the need to mitigate climate change, there seems tobe points of disagreement on means of mitigation. One of this is where United States andChina disagree on legally binding mandates. While the United States insists that legalmandate on carbon dioxide emissions reduction must been made and all countries must abideby it, China alongside India insists that even though there are legal mandates, every countrymust not be forced in abiding by it. As explained by Huang Huikang, special representativefor climate change negotiations in China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China is both adeveloping and poor country compared to the United States. Therefore, China is not yet readyto agree to mandates. Also, as India rejects legally binding mandates, it insists that richcountries must be legally bound. India also wants rich countries cut 40% of its emissions by2020.Furthermore, another position where United States and China disagree is the point oftransparency from donor receiving countries. China, for example, at the Copenghenconference said that the rich countries should give 1% of their GDP per year to helpdeveloping countries. However, for this to come into place, the United States is requestingdeveloping countries submit themselves to an International Monitoring System. Thisinternational Monitoring System is an expert panel review of the efforts made by developingcountries to reduce carbon reduction. This review will be submitted to the UN which willdetermine whether assistance should be given or not. Even though China is in support of thismonitoring system, there is mistrust on what will be done with the result of the review. China
  20. 20. Rotaract Global Model United Nations | August 21-25, 2013 | Baia Mare, | | Tel: +40 758.922.54320does not want United States scrutinizing the numbers of other countries. Hence, a clear andtransparent system must be in place in other to bring all parties to agreement.E. Thinker’s - Questions that our resolution must answerFrom Bali to Poznan to Copenhagen, several commitments have been made by bothdeveloping countries and developed countries in mitigating climate change. However, whatcan be done to make both developed and developing countries follow theircommitments? Commitments not backed with actions will amount to nothing! Thesecommitments range from transfer of low-carbon technology to developing countries, financialassistance to developing countries just to mention a few.Up till date, several amounts of dollars have been donated by both developing nationsand international organizations to developing nations. In the future, more financing will bedone. However, there must be an effective mechanism to check the proper use of these funds.Both United States and China agree that there should be an International Monitoring systemwhich will access and review. However, how can this mechanism be properly drafted insuch a way where both parties can agree? Also, what more can be done in making donorreceiver countries more accountable for the funds they receive and the technology theyget from developed nations?Finally, what more roles can both developing nations and developed nations playin mitigating climate change? More still needs to be done by individual countries.F. Recommended readingsI hope these recommended readings help in getting a good understanding of the topicand help in searching for more resources:1. OECD, 2008. Climate Change Mitigation: What Do We Do?You can download this at: Gateway to the United Nations Systems Work on Climate Change Website: Thiswebsite gives almost all if not all the information needed on climate change impact.This website also links to other major UN agency websites working on our subject.3. Newpaper articles such as the ones below: State Government Websites such as:
  21. 21. Rotaract Global Model United Nations | August 21-25, 2013 | Baia Mare, | | Tel: +40 758.922.54321iGateway to the United Nations Systems work on climate changeiiClimate Change Mitigation: What do we do? A report by OECD on how climate change can be mitigatedReferencesOECD, 2008. Climate Change Mitigation: What Do We Do?Gateway to the United Nations Systems Work on Climate Change WebsiteThe Independent,2013. York Times,2010. Department of State, 2013., K., 2005. Climate Change: The Science and the Policy. Journal of AppliedEcology, Vol.42 No. 5, pp. 779-783Andy, H., et al., 2007. Policies for accelerating access to clean energy, improvinghealth, advancing development, and mitigating climate change.Joseph, E.A., et al., 2010. Designing Climate Mitigation Policy. Journal of EconomicLiterature, Vol. 48, No.4, pp. 903-934Heleen, D.C., Carolyn F., Richard, G.N., Takahiro, U., 2007. Internationaltechnology-oriented agreements to address climate change.