BASIC issues joint statement on climate change

By Mi Xingang
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, November 21, 2012
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Ministers of the BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) cooperation group released a joint statement after a two-day exchange in Beijing on a range of issues hovering around international negotiations on climate change.

During the 13th BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change in Beijing, BASIC ministers discussed the forthcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Doha, Qatar and reached broad consensus on positions concerning climate change management.

A press conference was held following the closing of the 13th BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change in Beijing on Nov. 20. [Photo by Mi Xingang]

At a press conference held following the closing of the two-day event on Nov. 20, Ambassador Andre Correa do Lago, director of the Department of the Environment and Special Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil, pointed out that the importance of Doha Conference could not be underestimated. The second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol as well as the implementation of the balanced Durban package would be the key deliverables for Doha, he said.

Xie Zhenhua, vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission of China, said that BASIC ministers should call upon developed countries to raise their level of commitment to the Quantified Emission Limitation and Reduction Objectives of the Kyoto Protocol. Those who do not commit to the objectives of the second commitment period should undertake quantified emission reductions in terms of form, magnitude and compliance, he said.

Asked about the response to the EU’s intentions to enact carbon emission taxes on all airlines passing through its airspace, Xie Zhenhua reaffirmed the importance of multilateralism in addressing climate change. The move, which would be part of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, has faced global opposition since it was put forward, he added. BASIC ministers reiterated strong opposition to any unilateral measures on international aviation and shipping as well as similar intentions regarding other sectors, according to the joint statement.

BASIC ministers also noted that some countries indicated that they will not join the second commitment of Kyoto Protocol. Edna Molewa, minister of Water and Environmental Affairs of South Africa, said BASIC will continue to persuade those “ship jumpers” to come on board and play a part. She stressed that the developing countries have put forth a much more serious effort on addressing climate change, adding that the developed countries that have not made pledges should make firm commitments.

BASIC reaffirmed that the Parties to the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol should protect the climate system on the basis of equity and in accordance with the Principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and respective capabilities. Developed countries should take the lead and scale up their ambition to counteract climate change not just in mitigation but also in adaptation, finance, technology transfer and capacity building, the joint statement said.

India will host the 14th BASIC Ministerial Meeting in the first quarter of 2013.

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