European Council (EC)
Chairs: Lily Ge and Grace Liang
Topic A: Combatting Terrorism in Europe
Terrorism has long been a permanent, extensive part of the European Union’s history. The EC officially states that [Terrorism] poses a threat to our security, to the values of our democratic societies and to the rights and freedoms of European citizens. More recently, between the years of 2009 and 2013, “1,010 attacks... were identified in the Member States... [leading] to the deaths of 38 people.” According to the European Police Office data, collected by the Robert Schuman Foundation, “152 terrorist attacks occurred in five Member States, most being in France (63), Spain (33), and the UK (35)” in 2013. Since 2011, the number of arrests made by local, state, national, and international officials on the grounds of “religiously motivated terrorism” have been on the rise. The EC has in the past, and continues, to highlight the “threat that has come from self-radicalised, self-organised, and self-financed individuals.” This growing threat “sadly became a reality in 2015”, culminating with the Paris attacks, happening on the 7th of January and 13th of November, Copenhagen, and Belgium.
Topic B: Implementing the Paris Accord
In December of 2015, representatives from 196 countries came together at the Paris Climate Conference to combat the growing issue of climate change, with the main objectives of “adopting green energy sources, cutting down on climate change emissions, and limiting the rise of global temperatures.” On December 12, the first “legally binding” global climate deal, known as The Paris Agreement, was adopted, leading the way for more action to be taken for the protection of the environment. The main goal of the agreement was to keep the average temperature of the world “below 2℃ above pre-industrial levels.” Currently, the global average temperature is about 1℃ above pre-industrial levels, but, even with the agreement, it is still expected that the world will exceed the 2℃ limit. In addition, the agreement had another non-binding goal that was even more ambitious: to try to limit the increase of global temperatures to 1.5℃ above pre-industrial levels. This was added to appease many small island nations, for they argued that even a 2℃ rise in temperatures would lead to higher sea levels that were dangerous to their countries. In order to meet these goals, before and during the Paris Convention countries submitted their National Climate Action Plans, which lay out each country’s plan to reach the target temperature and reduce their emissions.