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Position Papers - United Nations Environmental Programme

Algeria

Algeria
UNEP
Climate Change
Alex Garrison and Pat Miller
Carmel High School

Over the course of the last century the world has seen a massive shift in sea levels and temperatures.  At first many were confused by these changes within the environment. However, after tedious research, many scientists have come to the conclusion that these changes can be directly related to the consumption of fossil fuels creating carbon emissions, otherwise known as greenhouse gases.  Even if the all fossil fuel consumption were to halt immediately many scientists speculate the trend of global warming would continue for nearly 200 years due to natural processes.  There are some within the scientific community who dispel these claims that global warming is being caused by carbon emissions, using the argument that a one-hundred year shift in climate change can hardly be judged given the long history of the Earth.  Others also believe that this may in fact be part of a cycle in temperature change that has occurred several times before.  Recently, the head of NASA candidly stated that he himself does not believe that these emissions are in fact causing temperature increases. It is worth noting that a large majority of the scientific community do believe climate change is due to carbon emissions.  Regardless of how one thinks this climate change is happening, one cannot argue that a drastic shift in temperatures is not occurring.  This change threatens many lives around the planet through desertification, rising sea levels, and drought.
Algeria, being a developing nation, has serious concerns in regard to climate change.  The most serious of these concerns is that of desertification.  With increased temperatures and lack of rainfall, fertile land is eroding and turning to farmland at massive rates in the nation.  This puts even larger pressure on urban areas throughout the nation.  Beyond the pressure of overcrowding this poses a major threat on agriculture in a nation that has a long histories with drought.  On the economic front, it is also worth noting that agriculture continues to decline in importance to the GDP of the nation.  With less possibility for agriculture jobs, many turn to industry, which makes up over half of Algeria’s gross domestic product.  This industry is nearly all centered on the exporting of oil, natural gas, and other sources of energy.  This economic dependence on the production of oil puts a nation, which already struggles to develop, in a difficult situation in regard to climate change, since the production of these resources helps aid this problem.
As policy in regards to climate change, Algeria recommends that a slow, steady decline in carbon emission should be mandated for all nations in the world.  This needs to be a very slow transition in order to allow Algeria to shift its economic focus to others areas.   Also, with growing concerns of desertification in many African and Asian countries near the Sahara and Gobi deserts, developing nations should be given aid in order to combat desertification, through better irrigation systems, farming education, and the planting of trees and other vegetation to stop erosion from occurring.  Lastly, a greater focus needs to be put on the loss of many species of animals due to damaged ecosystems.  A system of financial penalties needs to be brought on nations that do not obey the new emission standards.  These fines should be distributed to funds that help nations combat the effects of climate change due to these nations’ selfishness and extortion of the world’s resources. 

 

 

 

Algeria
UNEP
Renewable Energy
Patrick Miller and Alex Garrison
Carmel High School

            Since the advent of the Industrial Revolution, the world has extracted resources from the planet to fuel its booming demand for production and advancement.  At first, these resources seemed unlimited; gasoline used to be sold for pennies on the gallon.  Now, however, it is a commodity worth waging war over, because, as a global society, we have realized these resources are limited.  Even as we have discovered new ways to fuel our machines, such as nuclear power and geothermal energy, we still extract the mainstay of our energy from this black gold.  This makes it a political motivation that gives leverage to economic conglomerates like OPEC and power that is unprecedented in such an organization.  Even scarier, however, is the discovery of the possibility of global warming and the potent additions carbon emissions may have in exasperating its effects. Clearly, there are several reasons as to why the search for renewable energy sources must be pursued.  However, to fervently and blindly throw caution to the wind would be unwise, as it could produce consequences socially, politically, and certainly economically.
Algeria has high stakes in the energy market and the course of global energy dependence.  In 1990, twenty-three percent of the country’s gross domestic product came from hydrocarbon production and exportation.  In other words, a quarter of the economy was dependent on the harvesting of fossil fuels, a source of non-renewable energy.  While the overwhelming majority of that percentage was oil, the government was afraid that the country had reached peak oil production and decided to diversify its economic pursuits.  In this effort, they discovered massive deposits of natural gas that now makes up the majority of its energy exports.  While these deposits of fuels have given Algeria and economic boost that a developing company can certainly use, it has introduced them to the entanglements of international conglomerates.  They had a short stint with OPEC before they left the group because there price manipulation did not fit into their economic framework.  However, they went from that to exporting to powerful nations and regions, such as Spain and the Florida panhandle.  These foreign entanglements, especially when there is clearly an inferior country in the relationship, can only end up being manipulative and unilateral as surely the stronger will dominate the economic bond.  For this reason, Algeria would like to further diversify its economy and expand into new areas that have less political force that makes them an easy target for domination and extortion.  The Algerian government is already aware of this and looking to make that change.  However, to change to quickly would shock the economy and may sever bonds that are necessary for the continued development of the country and its well-being.  We believe research should be pursued vigorously in the field of renewable energy, for it benefits not only Algeria itself but certainly the globe.  We simply need to be cautious and make sure blame isn’t laid where blame isn’t due.  As a brother to the research of alternative energy, further, unbiased research of global warming must be done to substantiate the possibility that carbon emissions are harmful to the health of the planet and thus all of its inhabitants. 
Perhaps, when all of this is done and concurred upon, drastic steps need be taken.  However, these steps should be made in moderate measure, as to avoid not only political friction, (or catastrophe,) and economic strife.  Algeria believes the research should be strongly supported and funded, both in the fields of renewable energy and global warming.  However, we should immediately begin making baby steps towards the transition to a new form of energy.  Sanctions should be imposed on those, such as OPEC, that bully inferior nations into joining their conglomerate of oil.  However, we should be easy on the developing countries that depend on oil and other fuels to churn their economy and continue to advance to the level that many western countries enjoy.  In this way, we will make sure not to stifle these countries and their citizens and create even more tension and hatred for international entanglement in an area that has seen its overwhelming share of both.

 

Indianapolis Model United Nations

Contacts

John McCormick - Faculty Advisor Hanna Smiddy - Co-President Jeremy Bellotti - Co-President