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Nikita Petrosyan, Matyáš Levinsky

DSP MUN 2018


Study Guide
24 April 2018

Combating climate change while


maintaining global economical and
industrial growth

Dear Delegates,

Please keep in mind, that this a very general introductory guide, which was written by your
chairs and can thus not serve as your only or primary source of information. It’s only
purpose is to give you a general idea of the direction of the forthcoming debates and a
broad understanding of the topic.

In 2018, we have arrived at a point, where climate change can no longer be regarded as
secondary issue and it’s devastating global consequences are already taking effect all
around the globe.

Just to remind you, in the current state of events :

- 2000 - 2009 was hotter than any other decade in at least the past 1,300 years. 

- Sea levels are rising at their fastest rate in 2,000 years.

- The ocean is 26% more acidic than before the industrial revolution.

- Global flooding could triple by 2030.

- More than 21.5 million people have been displaced due to climate change-related weather
hazards. 

- More than 3 million deaths each year come from the exposure to outdoor air pollution. 

- Global disasters in 2017 cost the world over 306 billion USD, double the cost of 2016.

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As the effects of climate change are becoming more and more serious, more and more
countries are beginning to implement stringent regulations and restrictions, with the goal to
reduce their carbon emissions and other factors, that are contributing to global warming
and environmental pollution.

For example, confronted with excessive consumption of resources and environmental


damage caused by the manufacturing industry, the Chinese government has enacted a
series of laws and regulations, to protect the environment, such as the Administrative
Regulation on Levy and Use of Pollutant Discharge Fee (2003), the Law on the Prevention
and Control of Environmental Pollution by Solid Waste (2004), the Measures for
Environmental Administrative Punishment (2010), the Atmospheric Pollution Prevention and
Control (2015 Revision), etc. . Yet until today, the PRC’s greenhouse gas emissions account
for over a third of the global share and in 2017 People’s Republic of China’s economic
growth hit its slowest pace in 26 years. On the other hand, since 2013 the number of new
jobs has increased to 13 million each year.

Another, different, example would be the Clean Air Act in the USA. First introduced in 1955
and with the most recent amendments in 1990, it has caused estimated costs of over 65
billion USD, however, according to the EPA, should account for over 2 trillion USD in
benefits for the US’ economy. Citing the figures from global firm ICF Consulting, 1.3 million
jobs were created in pollution-control industries between 1977 and 1991 as a direct result
of the regulations. However, in 2017, the USA has decided to withdraw from the UNFCCC’s
Paris Climate Agreement, with it’s president calling it a “draconian” international deal, citing
a study, which predicts, a loss of 2.7 million jobs in the US by 2025, as a result of the
agreement.

As can be seen in the examples above, even at the highest political and economical levels,
there is currently no sign of a global consensus. The stances remain very different all around
the globe, with every party following its own agenda and providing its own well-founded
reasons to do so, many of whom citing the high costs and competitive sacrifices of a more
climate friendly policy, as the main reasons for their action (respectively, the absence of it).

It is evident indeed, that regardless of what kind of regulation or agreement follows, the fight
against climate change will not be cheap. For example, to successfully meet the goals set by
the COP21, developing countries will need about $100 billion of new investments per year
over the next 40 years to build resilience to the effects of climate change.
Furthermore keeping in mind, that all environmental policies will inevitably affect the
economies of the countries and thus, in many cases, its social and political situation as
well.

To ensure the optimal economical development, it is necessary to create a farsighted


program, with rational solutions to address the environmental challenge, otherwise the
world may face a much greater danger, that will not be comparable to anything we have

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previously encountered. According to a study recently published in Nature, the potential
costs caused by the increased release of methane in the next decade could be as high as
60 trillion USD, as a comparison, the estimated value of the global economy last year was
70 trillion.

To be able to successfully combat climate change, while maintaining global economical and
industrial growth, most countries need a more comprehensive, forward-looking approach in
which current economical barriers and disincentives are removed, but at the same time
appropriate incentives and restrictions are provided. Thus fiscal, economic, environmental,
and industrial policies need to be integrated in to the global development and made
mutually supportive, for both, the businesses and the people.

With this being said, political leaders should be implementing policies that serve to
stimulate economical growth and environmental protection, rather than proposing
unnecessary regulatory burdens that would stifle the global economy, or on the contrary,
avoiding any economical regulations, thus causing an irreversible impact on our planet.

Some recommended articles :

http://time.com/4831018/clean-energy-climate-change-renewable-energy/

https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/sustainability-and-resource-productivity/
our-insights

http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/opinion/2016/01/13/climate-change-is-a-threat---and-
an-opportunity---for-the-private-sector

https://hbr.org/2017/06/if-you-think-fighting-climate-change-will-be-expensive-calculate-
the-cost-of-letting-it-happen

https://hbr.org/2007/10/climate-business-_-business-climate?
referral=03759&cm_vc=rr_item_page.bottom

https://hbr.org/2007/03/competitive-advantage-on-a-warming-planet?
referral=03759&cm_vc=rr_item_page.bottom

https://hbr.org/1994/07/the-challenge-of-going-green

http://bigthink.com/think-tank/60-trillion-new-study-projects-the-global-cost-of-climate-
change

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http://www.oecd.org/statistics/cop21-climate-change-in-figures.htm

http://environmentalscience.oxfordre.com/view/10.1093/acrefore/
9780199389414.001.0001/acrefore-9780199389414-e-396