The 15th BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change was recently held in Cape Town, and the outcomes of the meeting were released in a joint statement at the end of June 2013. The statement emphasised the role of developed countries in taking the lead in tackling climate change.
The BASIC countries are a bloc of four large developing countries namely Brazil, South Africa, India and China, formed by an agreement on 28 November 2009.
Representing Brazil, SA, India and China; Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission of China; Edna Molewa, Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs of South Africa; T.S. Tirumurti, joint secretary, Ministry of External Affairs of India; and Ambassador Andre Correa do Lago, director of the Department of the Environment and Special Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil, participated in the meeting. This is the second BASIC meeting held in 2013 and provided Ministers and senior negotiators with an opportunity for strategic discussion on key issues.
Outcomes of the meeting include BASIC Ministers welcoming the progress made at the recent United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting in Bonn under the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP).
In relation to the 2015 global climate agreement Ministers reaffirmed that the agreement should address the four pillars of adaptation, mitigation, finance and technology development and transfer in a balanced, comprehensive and holistic manner; that the 2015 global climate agreement must be based on science and the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, as well as the promotion of sustainable development; and that the enhanced mitigation and adaptation actions of developing countries should be enabled by the provision of adequate finance, technology development and transfer and capacity building support from developed countries.
In the context of the inadequacy of developed countries’ current commitments on emission reductions and provision of finance and technology support, Ministers called for a comprehensive approach to raising ambition in the pre-2020 implementation phase. Ministers also noted with concern the huge gap between what developed country Parties have pledged and what is required by science and their historical responsibility, reemphasising that this has the effect of transferring the responsibilities of the developed countries to the developing countries.
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 on international civil aviation and shipping as well as other sectors.
Ministers considered adaptation and its role in the 2015 global climate agreement, indicating that commitments should not be limited to mitigation, but include adaptation as a matter of equal priority, as well as the provision of finance, technology development and transfer and capacity building support for both; emphasising that support by developed countries is needed for developing countries to fulfil their commitments to their citizens. The Ministers mandated the BASIC experts to engage with a wider range of experts on adaptation and its role in negotiations to elaborate this thinking; and are of the view that technical inputs into the 2015 Agreement are crucial.
Ministers underlined their commitment to BASIC, stressed the importance of the unity of G77 (Group of 77), and China, and reaffirmed the commitment of BASIC countries to strengthen it. Ministers underlined the urgency of combating climate change, and reiterated their continued efforts to enhance South-South cooperation.
Ministers welcomed the offer by Brazil to host the 16th BASIC Ministerial Meeting in September 2013.
Download the full joint statement issued at the conclusion of the 15th BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change on http://www.info.gov.za/speech/DynamicAction?pageid=461&;tid=111371