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Thursday, November 15, 2012

News Brief: Environment

The delegate of Japan submitted the first resolution reviewed, which concerned the issue of electronic waste management. Co-submitters were Chile, Laos, Lebanon, and Belgium. The resolution sought to empower countries to find sustainable solutions to “e-waste.”

The delegate of Japan urged the other delegates to help pass the resolution which would result in a 6% “green tax” on home appliances and electronic goods produced by MNCs. To avoid the tax, the producers would have to pass continuous checks on their proper handling and disposal of electronic waste by environmental government agencies in cooperation with the UNEP.

Despite the revenue it would bring to the government, many nations expressed objections. The delegate of South Korea expressed fear that these taxes would only raise prices of electronic gadgets for consumers, lowering demand and hurting the economy. “Japan may not be affected by this decrease in GDP, but we can’t afford it,” he said.

The delegate of Singapore also expressed concerns, citing that this would cause bankruptcy to many small businesses. However, the delegate of Chile responded that much more was at stake if the resolution was not passed, because their main source of income, tourism, was at risk from the fall of biodiversity.

After a lengthy debate, which included several points of clarification, the e-waste resolution did not pass as only 10 out of a total of 31 nations voted for it.

The second resolution discussed was submitted by Chile and concerned the issue of protecting biodiversity. Niger, Qatar, Poland, Sweden, and Bangladesh were co-submitters.
After many for and against speeches, debate was truncated due to time constraints. We look forward to the final decision on this resolution tomorrow morning.

-Heyun J. (12)

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