General Assembly 6th Committee (Legal)


Niklas Rau

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Committee: General Assembly 6th Committee (Legal)

Country: Ireland

Delegate: Niklas Rau

Topic: The importance of international treaties to protect the environment

Introduction: Climate change is a complex problem, which has consequences for all spheres of our planet. It either impacts on– or is impacted by– global issues, including poverty, economic development, population growth, sustainable development and resource management. To tackle those problems, countries all over the world joined the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) treaty, whose goal it is, to consider what they could do to limit increases in global temperature and the resulting climate change, and to cope with its impacts.

Background and current situation: 1979 — The first World Climate Conference takes place 1992 — At the Earth Summit in Rio, the UNFCCC is opened for signature 1994 — The UNFCCC enters into force 1997 — The Kyoto Protocol, which for the first time introduced legally binding emission reduction goals for developed countries, is formally adopted 2005 — Entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol. The first meeting of the participants in the Kyoto Protocol takes place in Montreal. In accordance with Kyoto Protocol requirements, parties launched negotiations on the next phase of the protocol 2009 — Copenhagen Accord drafted. Member countries later submitted emissions reductions pledges or mitigation action pledges, all non-binding. 2016 — The Paris Agreement entered into force, with an action plan to limit global warming ‘well below’ 2℃

Ireland's position and proposed actions: Ireland is deeply affected by global warming as well as climate change in general. A fifth of Ireland's soil is peat soil, which acts as a natural carbon store. However when this kind of soil is damaged it releases the stored carbon into the air in form of carbon oxides, further fueling the greenhouse effect. It is also projected that by the end of the century, Ireland will lose 1000 km² of its soil due to rising water levels caused by global warming. Ireland sees climate change and environmental damage as a serious problem, and thus is a pioneer in working out and finding new ways on how to improve already existing treaties. The government for example regards the Kyoto Protocol as incomplete, because it only applies to developed countries, and even for those countries there are possibilities to work around the requirements too easily. Ireland furthermore appeals for more countries to acti...