WELCOME TO KMUN!
May 28-30, 2021
Most distinguished participants,
It is my utmost honor and pleasure to welcome you to the eighth edition of the Kabataş Model United Nations Conference. This year’s edition of KMUN will be held online thanks to the efforts of our Executive Team; they have worked tirelessly to present to you a smooth virtual experience; therefore, I have no doubt that KMUN 2021 will be just as enjoyable as the previous sessions.
Trying to pick a theme for the conference, I asked myself what the biggest unaddressed problem in our world was. There were many problems from which I had to choose: overpopulation, water scarcity, world hunger, racism, sexism, and so on. After giving it some thought, I realized that climate change was the most urgent one among those —especially for our generation—, yet, somehow, it is rarely even discussed. We are to blame, though: our ignorance and silence pursue the historical inaction on climate change. We will be responsible for governments’ and corporations’ reluctance to take action if we don’t actually demand action. Therefore, I am humbled to announce that the theme of KMUN 2021 will be ‘the Climate Emergency: Can it wait until the pandemic ends?‘ As is evident from the theme, in this edition of KMUN, we will not only focus on the climate emergency but also how some countries stall their climate action plans, using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse. Climate change has not stopped because of the pandemic, neither should we.
Having been raised by Generations X and Y, we have grown up believing that climate change wasn’t that urgent. We could recycle a few bottles, and we would have done our part. It turns out, that is not enough. Even if you alter your everyday life completely to minimize your negative impact on the environment, it’s still not enough. A factory that belongs to a billion-dollar firm will emit thousands of times more carbon in a minute than the amount you have saved in a year. This is why we cannot accept the problem and wait for others to do so too, our future lies in the hands of a few big companies. As a matter of fact, 100 companies are responsible for 71% of industrial emissions. There is another crucial issue: despite its urgency, 4 out of every 10 people do not even believe in climate change, let alone take action against it. When forty percent of the world has no idea about climate change, it is impossible to have governments change their policies. In essence, although individual actions matter, we cannot achieve meaningful change without public awareness, negotiation, and cooperation between governments. We do not have a lot of time either, scientists estimate we have approximately a decade before climate change is irreversible. Although the number of years is controversial, scientists agree that the actions we are taking right now are beyond insufficient.
Nonetheless, there are actions taken that give hope to climate activists. The most well-known instance would be the Paris Climate Agreement, which aims to limit the average increase in temperature to 2 degrees centigrade and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The reentry of the United States to the agreement, given that it has the largest economy in the world, is another impactful action. This agreement may not eradicate climate change, but it will surely mitigate it. Moreover, 33 countries recently declared a climate emergency. Although many countries do not take all actions they have pledged to take, these have changed the course of world politics in the past years. When we think of how governments denied the existence of the climate emergency a few years back, we may easily see what could change if more people decided to speak up.
After a year of quarantine, I believe most of us have understood that technology cannot provide all that nature can. We are entirely dependent on nature even though our fast-paced and consumption-based lives make us forget that sometimes. If our inaction continues, we will suffer from problems much bigger than a pandemic. As Generation Z, the ones who will truly suffer from climate change, we should be involved in youth discussion as often as we can. If this conference changes your point of view on climate change and encourages you to take part in the actions to protect our planet, then I will know I have done my part. Start acting as if your house is on fire — because it is.
I am looking forward to meeting you at Kabataş Model UN Conference 2021.
Çağla Sena Temelli
President of the General Assembly
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