BASIC ministers seek comprehensive, balanced, equitable and fair deal at climate talks

08 Aug 2014


The 18th ministerial meeting of BASIC countries, a grouping of the four large newly industrialised countries that includes Brazil, South Africa, India and China, today reaffirmed their support to global action on climate change and called for a comprehensive, balanced, equitable and fair outcome at the Conference of Parties (COP) in Paris due next year.

The ministers noted that despite the massive scale of development challenges still faced by their countries, the governments of all BASIC countries are undertaking extensive and ambitious voluntary mitigation actions to pursue low carbon pathways, including through the development and deployment of renewable energy, improving energy efficiency through improved technologies, reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), etc.

The ministers reviewed the progress after the Warsaw COP and the way forward and stressed that the 2015 outcome to be adopted at the COP in Paris should be comprehensive, balanced, equitable and fair in order to enhance the full, effective and sustained implementation of the convention.

BASIC countries, they said, are ready and willing to play their part in this process and extended their full support to the government of Peru for a successful COP in Lima, which would be central to the 2015 outcome. They also stressed their full support to the government of Venezuela for the Pre-COP to be held this year.

The ministers underscored the need for finalisation of the elements for a draft negotiating text for the 2015 outcome by the COP in Lima. They reiterated that the core elements for the 2015 outcome should be addressed in a balanced and comprehensive manner through an open and transparent, inclusive, party-driven and consensus-building process.

The process and outcome of the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) must be in full accordance with all the principles, provisions and structure of the convention, in particular the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, they said.

They emphasised that the developed countries should take the lead in addressing climate change in accordance with their historical responsibilities, the latest available scientific evidence on climate change trends and the IPCC. They urged developed countries to implement their commitments under the convention towards developing countries for provision of finance, technology and capacity-building support and highlighted the importance and relevance of the convention in this regard.

The ministers concurred with the need for all parties to communicate their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) as early as possible. They also affirmed that the INDCs would include all pillars of the Durban Platform - mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology development and transfer and capacity-building.

They said, in accordance with the convention principle of differentiation, the commitments of the developed countries in the INDCs should include quantified economy-wide emission reduction targets for mitigation and provision of finance, technology development and transfer as well as capacity building support to developing countries for their mitigation and adaptation actions.

They reiterated that the INDCs of developing countries will be in the context of their social and development needs and will also be premised on the extent of financial, technological and capacity-building support provided by developed countries.

The ministers emphasised that the information to be provided in the context of the INDCs would also need to be accordingly differentiated between the developed and developing countries in accordance with Article 12 of the Convention. They further stressed that the purpose of such information is to facilitate the clarity, transparency and understanding of the INDCs in accordance with the Warsaw decision.

They reiterated that the Kyoto Protocol remained the essential and legally binding basis for addressing pre-2020 mitigation ambition and called for the expeditious ratification of the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

The ministers expressed their serious concern on the low level of mitigation ambition of developed countries and called for necessary arrangements to be made for the 2014 revisit for increasing the emission reduction targets by all developed country parties.

They noted with concern that the pre-2020 ambition gaps exist not only in mitigation but also in adaptation and finance, technology and capacity-building support to developing countries.

As of now, the contribution of developing countries to mitigation efforts is far greater than that of developed countries and could be further enhanced if developed countries effectively implement and significantly increase their commitments of providing finance, technology and capacity building support to developing countries, they added.

The ministers underscored the importance of adaptation measures required to address the impacts of climate change, especially for the developing countries, which requires international support from developed countries on issues relating to risk reduction, management and resilience. They drew attention to the fact that since climate change impacts are global in nature, adaptation measures required also need an international response. The ministers welcomed the Warsaw COP decision on setting up a Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage.

The ministers expressed disappointment over the continued lack of any clear roadmap for providing $100 billion per year by developed countries by 2020. They urged developed countries to honour their obligations to provide new, additional and predictable financial support to developing countries in a measurable, reportable and verifiable manner. They reiterated that public financial sources should be the mainstay of climate finance and that private finances could only be expected to play a supplementary role.

The ministers reaffirmed the importance of multilateralism in addressing climate change in accordance with the principles and provisions of the convention and reiterated their strong opposition to any unilateral measures such as in aviation or shipping.

The ministers looked forward to the upcoming summit on climate change to be hosted by the UN Secretary General in New York on 23 September 2014 for generating political momentum on climate action.

The ministers welcomed the outcome documents of the Santa Cruz summit of the Group of 77 and the China summit held in June 2014 to mark the 50th anniversary of the group.

The ministers also welcomed the 3rd International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) scheduled on 1-4 September 2014 in Apia, Samoa and reiterated their traditional solidarity with the SIDS countries in their efforts to adequately meet their unique development challenges and vulnerabilities.

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