Cite as


Delegate: Daniel Odesser
Institution: Tel Aviv University (TAUMUN).

Portugal’s Position Paper

Topic A: Sustainable uses for nuclear energy


In 1987 the United Nations report on Environment and Development provided what has arguably become the most widely accepted definition of sustainable development: “Sustainable development is a development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”


Unfortunately, independent market signals do not – at least in their current form – incentivize sustainable pattern of production and consumption. Competitive markets would generate an efficient outcome if all-natural resources and an ecosystem’s carrying capacities could be priced in a way that reflected actual resource scarcity and the preferences of current and future generations. For example, ranking two alternative electricity generation technologies according to their full social costs by embedding the costs of associated externalities in terms of land use, emissions or solid waste generation would be equivalent to ranking them in terms of their social desirability. The fact that sustainable development proponents consider impacts in terms of land use and other biophysical indicators and do not focus simply on relative prices as the ultimate indicator of what is socially desirable reflects their skepticism regarding purely market-driven mechanisms of societal choices.



Topic B: Nuclear Security and Safety


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