Futuristic General Assembly on Climate Change

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Director's Letter

Dear Delegates,

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to Harvard National Model United Nations 2020! My name is Alistair Gluck and I am beyond excited to meet each and every one of you as your Director for the Futuristic General Assembly Session on Climate Change.  I hope that you all will learn and grow as individuals and teammates, due to your experiences at conference this February.

I am from Westchester County, New York (just outside of New York City), and I am a sophomore at Harvard.  I study History and Arabic, and am involved with many different aspects of Harvard’s model UN program. Outside of that, I am a consultant within an on-campus consulting group that works with tech startups, and I also tutor Harvard employees to prepare them to take their citizenship tests.  I also enjoy running on the Charles River (when the weather isn’t too miserable) and procrastinating by feeding my Netflix addiction.

The two main topics that I expect discussion and resolutions at conference to address are those of addressing current problems (in 2055) and crafting a more effective and enforceable climate resolution.  You should consider how life on low-lying island nations will be in 2055 (or whether these islands will exist in that year). I also anticipate discussion on how countries with lower risks of flooding and loss of freshwater will cope with ensuing refugee crises.  

Climate change is a topic that I’ve grown to be passionate about, as I think it is a universal problem that has the potential to unite the world in pursuit of a common goal--preservation of the earth.  I hope that you all will appreciate the mental exercise of placing yourselves in the year 2055, and coping with the problems that our current trajectory of pollution and use of fossil fuels will eventually create.  I hope that your experience at conference gives you a new appreciation for how important it is to create change, taking into account both short and long-term solutions. I am so excited to meet you all in-person at conference, and you should feel free to contact me beforehand with any questions you may have (or even just to introduce yourself)!


Alistair Gluck
Director, Futuristic General Assembly Session on Climate Change


Topic Area: The World in 2055: Coping with a Broken Climate

As the global temperature increases steadily year by year, it is likely that by 2055 (when this committee will take place) many parts of the world will be either underwater or without access to freshwater.  With no binding international agreements in-place prior to our committee convening, it is clear that non-binding agreements like the Paris Climate Agreement of 2016 did not have a major impact in preventing irreparable damage to our world.  Many low-lying island nations are rapidly losing access to both land and freshwater reserves, and very few of them are prepared for such an eventuality.

Delegates will have two potential topic areas from which to choose to address at conference.  The first topic will encompass response to crises resulting from rising ocean levels--including both ensuing refugee crises and lack of access to freshwater in certain countries.  Delegates are encouraged to specifically consider lower-lying island nations (both ones currently at risk, and ones that have been devastated by flooding in recent decades). The case studies I am recommending include those of the Maldives and of the Federated States of Micronesia.  The Maldives prepared for the world in 2055 by purchasing land and houses for their residents in mainland India, so as to facilitate a migration of their population to a safer area, even after their land was engulfed by seawater, following the tsunami of 2045. Micronesia, however, presents a different narrative, as the residents of Micronesia were forced to flee their homes due to drought and flooding, throughout the course of the early 2040s.  Most are being held in refugee camps and detainment centers throughout the South Pacific, namely in Indonesia and the Philippines, most hope to eventually immigrate to Australia, Europe, or the United states. This refugee crisis is unlike any we have seen before, as there is no hope that these people will be able to return to their lands. Resolutions addressing this topic should contain a plan to address currently-displaced populations, as well as a far reaching protocol for the future, which addresses what to do if and when other nations face similar crises.

The second topic that delegates may select is that of planning for the future.  Delegates should consider the failures of earlier agreements--namely the Paris Agreement and the Kyoto Protocol--and identify why these international accords failed to prevent the current state of international crisis.  Delegates will build on the effective aspects of these agreements, and will attempt to modernize them to address the present--an era in which much of what earlier agreements hoped to prevent has come to pass. Resolutions that address this topic should deal mainly with addressing the failures of earlier agreements surrounding language and methods of enforcement, as well as addressing climate change in all areas of the world--both developed and developing.  

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