Wies delivers an emotional defense speech on the dangers of melting Arctic ice. Her committee want to limit drilling for oil and gas, which brings a whole host of complications with it - military, environmental and humanitarian. Wies explains the necessity of an agreement with Russia, as its military expansion is a danger to the Arctic ice.
Many committees are jumping at the chance to deliver an attack speech, but Wieger from LIBE gets. He agrees that the arctic is a humanitarian as well as an environmental disaster, but he urges the proposing committee to disregard economic consequences even further, as the rising sea level is a much more imminent threat than any economic benefit that may be gained.
Myrthe from AGRI says peaceful compromise with Russia is a pipe dream. If one party will stop at nothing to drill, and the other wants to stop drilling at all costs, working together is not realistic. Myrthe once again emphasizes the environmental aspect. She says ENVI missed out on a chance to take a real stand against climate change. Harsh criticisms indeed, especially for the committee on environment. Let's hope they get a chance to redeem themselves during the open debate.
Isha kicks off the open debate by mentioning Russia's questionable past in negotiations. Lana directly responds to agree with Isha - taking Russia's oil drills is like taking a child's ice cream. A tantrum will surely follow. Rutger thinks debating is never as effective as actually sanctioning. The theme of the debate so far seems to be the impossibility of negotiating with Russia. Let's hope for some points about other issues like the 'donut hole'. Guus changes the topic to animals, or rather the lack of animals in the proposed resolution. The proposing committee's Mette responds to the questions raised calmly. ENVI asks the GA what the alternatives are to negotiation and compromise.
Nuclear energy is mentioned as an environmental measure. AFCO responds to state that nuclear energy is not a long-term solution and urges the GA not to underestimate the economic power of the EU, where oil companies like Shell are based. ECON's Isis wants more specifics from the proposing committee on where drilling is and isn't allowed. IJsbrand says the Northern Sea Route is both an economic and an environmental saver - Jade from AFCO agrees. ENVI once again responds to the points made with a plea for more empathy - keeping the peace is more important than competing for energy sources or confronting Russia directly.
The debate has come down to one clear divide: economic stability versus environmental preservation. Sami says renewable energy is the only solution to the Arctic issue. EMPL's Lana agrees with Sami and says nuclear energy is not an option due to its toxic waste being another environmental polluter. Pepijn from AGRI responds directly to rebut that point: he says the waste produced by nuclear energy is negligible. The board commends the delegates for using their direct response placards well and often. LIBE's Juliette makes a point about economic benefit and environmental benefit are not mutually exclusive.
We return to the proposing committee for summation speeches by IJsbrand and Bibiana. IJsbrand reiterates the controversial point that since global warming is happening anyway, we may as well benefit from it. Bibiana has the last word in this heated (ha!) debate. She says that research, cooperation, and compromise are not drastic methods but effective ones, and ENVI has found the best possible solution to this issue.
This was a spirited debate, and I expect the votes will reflect that.
And with 27 votes against and 37 in favor, the resolution has passed! Congratulations to ENVI!