Environment 2
1. Measures to limit the sale of ‘bottled water’
  • General Overview of the Topic / UN perspective
Bottled water isn’t necessarily safer than tap water as recent studies have shown that bottled water actually contains more than 25 percent tap water. The plastic in bottled water poses a threat as sometimes chemicals can seep in using the plastic and those chemicals change hormones. China has increased in consuming bottled water enormously in the past few years. Over the past few years, sales of bottled water have increased at alarming rates (sales worldwide are
increasing 10% annually). On average, bottled water costs a thousand times (per liter) more than that of high-quality municipal tap water. More than 1.5 million tons of plastic are used to bottle water. There are environmental issues associated with the sale and consumption of bottled water. Plastics are made from non-renewable resources- oil and natural gas. The plastic-making process can cause pollution that is harmful to environmental and human health. Most plastic is not recycled which leads to enormous landfill and garbage disposal problems.
Plastic bottles are made from PET, which requires less energy to recycle than glass or aluminum and releases less emissions into the atmosphere, however, most plastic bottles are not recycled.
Health Risks:
Some plastics in the bottles leach phthalates, chemicals that disrupt testosterone and hormone levels, which can pose health risks. The lack of fluoride within bottled water can also cause cavity decay and other oral problems. Top five bottled water companies in 2010 based on income: Nestle Pure Life ($3.8 billion), Dasani ($2.9 billion), Aquafina ($2.8 billion), Poland Spring ($2.1 billion), Evian ($1.9 billion)
There are safe alternatives to bottled water, Point-of-use water coolers that are connected directly to a tap with water from the local town and are equipped with filters that remove chlorine, chemicals, and other minerals.
  • Major Parties Involved and Their Views
Some of the parties are just big water bottle selling companies as they would end up running out of business if people stopped using their products.
  • Key Terms Defined
Bottled Water- water that meets all government regulations for drinkable water, is sealed in a sanitary container, and is sold for human consumption

Municipal Tap Water- water drawn directly from a tap or faucet

Water Privatization- private ownership of water services

PET(polyethylene terephthalate)- a plastic resin that most water bottles are made from

FAO- United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization

WHO- World Health Organization

NRDC- Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Timeline of Events
1962- Codex Alimentarius Commission, established through the efforts of FAO and WHO, outlined requirements and guidelines for food
1997- FAO released a study that stated bottled water does not have more nutritional value than regular tap water
1999- NRDC analyzed samples of over 100 bottled water brands (22% of total brands), finding arsenic, bacteria, chlorine and other substances that may pose health risks over long-term consumption
1990s- Prompted by World Bank, water systems of Bolivia’s poorest regions were sold to the US company, Bechtel, however, the company began to take over local wells and public infrastructures, thus many buyers were unable to afford increased water prices
2000- riots broke out in Cochabamba, Bolivia, forcing
2005- protestors in Bolivia’s capital airport El Alto rioted against the high water rates imposed by the French water giant Suez Company
2007- mayor of San Francisco banned bottled water in government offices
2008- Seattle banned bottled water in government offices
April 2008- Concord Massachusetts banned the sale of bottled water
March 7, 2009- Federal Canadian Municipalities (FCM) passed a resolution urging municipalities to ‘phase out the sale of bottled water’ where drinkable water is accessible.

  • UN Involvement, Relevant Resolutions, Treaties and Events
The UN is trying to find a solution to the bottled water usage, even though it is harmful, it is the only water that some people can get to. But then the problem is the poor people cannot afford bottled water so the UN is trying to find a solution
  • Possible Solutions
Maybe the prices of water bottles could be decreased as to allow the people in poverty get them. And for the environment they could find another type of source in which they could store the water that they are selling, a source that might not take so long to decompose or that is not harmful to the environment.


  • What is the problem? How does it affect your country?
The problem is that China does not have any safe drinking water, more than 300 million people don’t have any water available to them.
  • What has your country done to combat the problem?
To combat with that problem, China is consuming more, and more bottled water every day, as the water in taps or wells are not at all sanitary.
  • What are the various “sides” in the debate?
Some countries say bottled water is amazing because that is how their people get safe drinking water, but some countries (the ones who all the waste and plastic gets dumped on) say that bottled water is bad as it is polluting the environment and making the planet’s lifetime worse.
  • Which aspects of the issue are most important to your country?
Well, China should be with this as bottled water is the only safe water that is found in China, and against it because of all the waste getting dumped into the water, into landfills, and being set on fire which is all three types of pollution.
  • If your country is not involved with the issue, how can it become involved?
China is involved.
  • How will your country shape the debate at the conference?
Well since China is one of the biggest and strongest countries in the world, people would want to get on good terms with China.
  • What arguments will other countries make?
Depending on their position in the topic they would either say that bottled water pollutes our country or that bottled water keeps the people in their country alive.
  • How do the positions of other countries affect your country’s position?
Well there will be a war over water sooner or later, so the countries near China are bound to get into a war with China if they are against bottled water or for it.
  • Is there evidence or statistics that might help to back up your country’s position?
This link has all the evidence à http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=518ffc50-8a84-4344-804a-d7f0565e5c7c






2. Responsibility for restoring the environment after an oil spill
• Committee isEnvironment 2.

• My issue is…

• 2.Responsibility for restoring the environment after an oil spill
GeneralOverview of the Topic / UN perspective

• The UN seems to care a lotif there is an Oil Spill.
The United Nations and the Law of the Sea

 Throughout the years, beginning with the work of the Seabed Committee in 1968 and later during the

nine-year duration of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, the United Nations

has been actively engaged in encouraging and guiding the development and eventual adoption of the

Law of the Sea Convention. Today, it continues to be engaged in this process, by monitoring

developments as they relate to the Convention and providing assistance to States, when called for, in

either the ratification or the implementation process. The goal of the Organization is to help States to

better understand and implement the Convention in order to utilize their marine resources in an

environment relatively free of conflict and conducive to development, safeguarding the rule of law in

the oceans.

 In this context, the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS) of the United Nations

Office of Legal Affairs helps to coordinate the Organization's activities and programmes in the area of

marine affairs. It is active in assisting and advising States in the integration of the marine sector in

their development planning. It also responds to requests for information and advice on the legal,

economic and political aspects of the Convention and its implications for States. Such information is

used by States during the ratification process, in the management of the marine sector of their

economies and in the development of a national sea-use policy.

 The United Nations also gives assistance to the two newly created institutions - the International

Seabed Authority and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.

 The UN is also actively involved in all of the major oil spills and organizing the responsibility for the

spills and the restoration of the environment affected by the oil spills.
• For example, on earth daythe UN raises awareness of those problems.

• · Major Parties Involved and Their Views

• · Key Terms Defined

• UNEP- united nations environment program.

 Responsibility is defined as:

 The state or fact of being accountable or to blame for


 Restoring is defined as:

 The process of returning of something to a former,

original, normal, or unimpaired condition.

 An Oil Spill is defined as:

 An accidental release of oil into a body of water, as from a

tanker, offshore drilling rig, or underwater pipeline, often

presenting a hazard to marine life and the environment
• ·

• Timeline of Events
This is a timeline of the BP Oil Spill, one of the most recent and largest oil spills. Millions of gallons of oil

have poured into the Gulf of Mexico since an April 20 blast on the Deepwater Horizon rig triggered a huge

spill, soiling 100 miles of coastline, threatening some of the United States' richest fisheries and endangering

a fragile ecosystem.

 March 2008 – The mineral rights to drill for oil at the Macondo well, located in Mississippi Canyon Block 252 in the

United States sector of the Gulf of Mexico about 41 miles (66 km) off the Louisiana coast, were purchased by BP at

the Minerals Management Service's (MMS) Lease Sale #206, held in New Orleans.

 February 2009 – BP files a 52 page exploration and environmental impact plan for the Macondo well with the MMS.

The plan stated that it was "unlikely that an accidental surface or subsurface oil spill would occur from the proposed

activities".[7] In the event an accident did take place the plan stated that due to the well being 48 miles (77 km) from

shore and the response capabilities that would be implemented, no significant adverse impacts would be expected.

 April 6 – The Department of the Interior exempted BP's Gulf of Mexico drilling operation from a detailed

environmental impact study after concluding that a massive oil spill was unlikely.

 October 7 – The Transocean Marianas semi-submersible rig begins drilling the Macondo well.

 November 9 – Hurricane Ida damages Transocean Marianas enough that it has to be replaced.

 February 15, 2010 – Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, owned by Transocean, begins drilling on the Macondo Prospect.

The planned well was to be drilled to 18,000 feet (5,500 m) below sea level, and was to be plugged and suspended

for subsequent completion as a subsea producer.

 March 8 – Target date for the completion of the well which had been budgeted to cost $96 million.

 March 17 – BP Chief Tony Hayward sells one third of his BP stock (223,288 shares). Closing BP price on March 17

on the New York Stock Exchange is 58.15.

 March – An accident damages a gasket on the blowout preventer on the rig.

• There have been over 100oil spills in history and a lot of them are not even done cleaning up.

April 20, 2010 - Explosion and fire on Transocean Ltd's drilling rig Deepwater Horizon licensed to BP;

11 workers are killed. The rig was drilling in BP's Macondo project 42 miles southeast of Venice,

Louisiana, beneath about 5,000 feet of water and 13,000 feet under the seabed.

 April 22 - The Deepwater Horizon rig, valued at more than $560 million, sinks and a five mile long oil

slick is seen.

 April 25 - The Coast Guard says remote underwater cameras detect the well is leaking 1,000 barrels

of crude oil per day. It approves a plan to have remote underwater vehicles activate a blowout

preventer and stop leak. Efforts to activate the blowout preventer fail.

 April 28 - The Coast Guard says the flow of oil is 5,000 barrels per day (bpd) (210,000

gallons/795,000 liters) -- five times greater than first estimated. A controlled burn is held on the giant

oil slick.

 April 29 - Obama pledges "every single available resource," including the U.S. military, to contain the

spreading spill.-- Obama also says BP is responsible for the cleanup. Louisiana declares state of

emergency due to the threat to the state's natural resources.

 April 30 - An Obama aide says no drilling will be allowed in new areas, as the president had recently

proposed, until the cause of the Deepwater Horizon accident is known.-- BP Chairman Tony Hayward

says the company takes full responsibility for the spill and would pay all legitimate claims and the cost

of the cleanup.

 May 2 - Obama visits the Gulf Coast to see cleanup efforts first hand. U.S. officials close areas

affected by the spill to fishing for an initial period of 10 days. BP starts to drill a relief well alongside

the failed well, a process that could take two to three months to complete.

 May 5 - A barge begins towing a 98-ton containment chamber to the site of the leak. BP says one of

the three leaks has been shut off by capping a valve, but that would not cut the amount of oil

gushing out.

 May 6 - Oil washes ashore on the Chandeleur Islands off the Louisiana coast, uninhabited barrier

islands that are part of the Breton National Wildlife Refuge.

 May 7 - BP tries to lower a containment dome over the leak, but the 100-tonne device was rendered

useless by a slush of frozen hydrocarbons that clogged it. -- A fishing ban for federal waters off the

Gulf is modified, expanded and extended to May 17.

 May 9 - BP says it might try to plug the undersea leak by pumping materials such as shredded up

tires and golf balls into the well at high pressure, a method called a "junk shot.”

 May 11/12 - Executives from BP, Transocean and Halliburton appear at congressional hearings in

Washington. Senate Energy committee chairman Jeff Bingaman says that it appeared that the

explosion on the rig was due to a "cascade of errors, technical, human and regulatory. The

executives blame each other's companies

 May 14 - Obama slams companies involved in the spill, criticizing them for a "ridiculous spectacle"

of publicly trading blame over the accident in his sternest comments yet.

 May 16 - BP succeeds in inserting a tube into the leaking well and capturing some oil and gas.

 May 18 - The U.S. nearly doubles a no-fishing zone in waters affected by the oil, extending it to 19

percent of U.S. waters in the Gulf.

 May 19 - The first heavy oil from the spill sloshes ashore in fragile Louisiana marshlands and part of

the mess enters a powerful current that could carry it to Florida and beyond.

 May 26 - A "top kill" maneuver starts involving pumping heavy fluids and other material into the well

shaft to stifle the flow, then sealing it with cement.

 May 28 - Obama tours the Louisiana Gulf coast on his second visit - "I am the president and the

buck stops with me," he said.-- BP CEO Tony Hayward flies over the Gulf. BP says that the cost of

the disaster so far is $930 million.

 May 29 - BP says the complex "top kill" maneuver to plug the well has failed, crushing hopes for a

quick end to the largest oil spill in U.S. history already in its 40th day.

 May 31 - The U.S. government and BP are warning that the blown-out oil well may not be stopped

until August as the company prepares a new attempt to capture leaking crude

• · UN Involvement, Relevant Resolutions, Treaties and Events

June 1 - BP shares plunge 17 percent in London trading, wiping $23 billion off its market value, on news its latest attempt to

plug the well has failed.

 August 2Flow Rate Technical Group reports that the well initially was dumping 62,000 barrels of oil per day initially after the spill

and that it dwindled to 53,000 barrels when it was capped as the well was depleted. This means that 4.9 million barrels were

dropped into the Gulf. Environmental Protection Agency releases a study of eight dispersants which concludes that Corexit 9500

"is generally no more or less toxic than mixtures with the other available alternatives" and that "dispersant-oil mixtures are

generally no more toxic to the aquatic test species than oil alone.”

 August 4 – BP reports that the well achieved “static condition” shortly after midnight after drilling mud is said to now fill the well.

 August 14 – Obama on a one-night vacation stays at the Back Bay Marriott in Panama City, Florida. The White House releases

a photo of Obama and Sasha Obama swimming in St. Andrew's Bay (Florida) near Alligator Point. The Press was not present

during the swim.

 September 29 – Andy Inglis, who headed deepwater drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico at the time of the spill, steps down

as head of the upstream business.[127]September 30 – Dudley tells the Houston Chronicle, "We don't believe we have been

grossly negligent in anything we've seen in any of the investigations." Dudley also announces BP will create a stronger safety


 October 1 – Allen steps down.

 December 15 - According to a feature Associated Press story on the homepage of Time Magazine, the U.S. federal government

is suing BP Exploration and Production, Inc., and eight other corporations, for unlimited liability, in an effort to have them pay for

the massive expenses involved in the cleanup and environmental recovery from the spill, including damages to natural

resources; it also seeks civil penalties under the Clean Water Act.

 December 17 - Unified Area Command releases the report from the Operational Science Advisory Team (OSAT) regarding

results of sampling and analyses of thousands of water column and sediment samples from the shoreline through deepwater


• · Possible Solutions

• I read that when there wasan oil spill in Pakastan in 2003 the UNEP did as much as they could to clearthe beaches and clean the animals. (UNEP united nations environmental program.)

What is the problem? How does it affectyour country?
The problem is that it damages theenvironment. It takes a long time to clean up. The oil usually never fullydisappears. This effects Hungary by,
There has been an oil spill typeinstance in Hungary. It was a toxic sludge spill. This thick slugged we said tobe 2 meters deep. It supposedly killed four people. Some sites said that it wasnearly equal to the gulf oil spill in 2010.

· What has your country done to combatthe problem?
When the toxic sludge spill happened inHungary, Hungary didn’t want international assistance.it took about 1 year toclear and tens of $million to do so. To me it seems like Hungary doesn’t wantanything to do with other countries… antisocial.

· What are the various “sides” in the debate?
In favour: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antiguaand Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh,Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia andHerzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso,Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire,Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea,Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada,Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia,Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait,Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya,Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta,Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco,Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria,Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal,Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation,Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore,Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan,Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Theformer Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago,Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, UnitedRepublic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia,Zimbabwe.

Against: Australia, Canada, Israel, Palau, United States.

Abstain: Cameroon, Chad, Colombia.

Absent: Azerbaijan, Burundi, Central African Republic, DemocraticRepublic of the Congo, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia,Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Kiribati, Liberia, Madagascar, Marshall Islands,Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda,Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe,Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.


· Which aspects of the issue are mostimportant to your country?

· If your country is not involved withthe issue, how can it become involved?
My country can communicatewith the UN to get more involved with the issue of cleaning up after an oilspill. Since Hungary has had an instance similar to an oil spill and I thinkthey didn’t want help from the UN or any other countries.

How will your country shape the debateat the conference?

· What arguments will other countriesmake?
Other countries will arguethat hungary doesn’t seek any assistance from other countries. They may suggestthat Hungary is selfish and always wants to do things by there self. The alsomight argue that Hungary doesn’t help them to in there times of need.

· How do the positions of other countries affect your country’s position?
Well can use an example here so if a country is a supplier to Hungary like Sweden from example. And then there is an oil spill in Hungarian waters. So the oil will contaminate the water and contaminate a lot of see life. Now if there are fishermen, that can be poisoned by the toxins in the water and in the fish. So the actions the Sweden does will affect Hungarian economy and health care.

· Is there evidence or statistics that might help to back up your country’s position?

Yes there is. There are many articles about Hungary and the environment. I put a link to one on top.

3. Promoting the use of environmentally friendly sources of energy
http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/green-china-is-a-myth-20110427-1dwr2.html CHINA likes the environment, they contribute the most money towards it yet it all goes to friendly energy in USA not in China.
4. Measures to strengthen the UNESCO World Heritage designation to protect unique environmental areas