BASIC ministers call for specifics on funds to mitigate climate change

The Hindu , Saturday, November 02, 2013
Correspondent : Nitin Sethi
The BASIC countries have countered the US position and demanded that the global climate agreement to be signed by 2015 should not focus just on actions to reduce greenhouse emission reductions but also resolve how these actions in the developing world be funded, supported by technology transfer and the adaptation needs met.

The BASIC position was put forth in a meeting of the four countries – India, China, South Africa and Brazil in Beijing on October 29. The meeting was held to strategise ahead of the annual climate negotiations that are to start in Warsaw on November 11.

The statement put out by the four countries jointly at the end of the meeting said, “(The BASIC) Ministers reiterated that the 2015 agreement should address all elements referred to in paragraph 5 of Decision 1/CP.17 in a balanced and comprehensive manner, and should not just be confined to mitigation.”

The decision referred to in the statement demands that countries discuss all the key elements of the UN climate talks - mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology development and transfer, transparency of action and support, and capacity-building for reaching a comprehensive 2015 agreement.

More than 190 country members of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change have decided that a new agreement would be signed by 2015 to combat climate change and be made operational by 2020.

The US had earlier suggested in a formal submission to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change that the 2015 climate pact should concentrate on emission reduction targets and issues of how countries are held accountable for what they claim to be doing and the rest of the concerns should be relegated to less legally onerous forms of decisions under the UN climate convention.

The BASIC countries and several developing countries have expressed reservations that separating mitigation actions from the enabling support – financial and technological – would diminish the existing obligations of the developed world to pay for actions of the poorer countries.

The BASIC ministers meeting in Beijing countered the US proposal, stating “Ministers called for a more balanced, structured and formal mode of work focusing on the four pillars of the Convention, i.e. mitigation, adaptation, finance and technology.”

The BASIC countries went on to say, “Ministers noted with concern that pre-2020 ambition gaps exist not only in mitigation, but also in adaptation, finance, technology and capacity building as well as in equitable access to sustainable development.”

The phrase 'ambition-gap' has often been used in public domain to refer only to the difference between the reductions that existing commitments of countries - to cut greenhouse gas emission - can achieve and what is required to keep temperatures from rising to dangerous levels. The BASIC countries have tried to push the point that the gap in action exists as the developed world has not provided the resources to the poorer countries to do more, as is currently required under the UN climate negotiations.


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