TWN Info Service on Climate Change (July10/03)
28 July 2010
Third World Network

Equitable access to carbon space central, say BASIC Ministers
Published in SUNS #6975 dated 28 July 2010

Geneva, 27 Jul (Meena Raman) -- Ministers from the BASIC Group of countries, in a joint statement at their fourth meeting in Rio de Janeiro from 25-26 July, emphasized the issue of equitable access to carbon space as a central element in the building of a balanced and comprehensive outcome for the climate change negotiations.

The BASIC Group is comprised of Brazil, South Africa, India and China, and their joint statement was made available to the TWN Info Service on Climate Change.

According to the joint statement, Ministers said that "a global goal for emission reductions should be preceded by the definition of a paradigm for equitable burden  sharing."

"They emphasized that equitable access to carbon space must be considered in the context of sustainable development, the right to which is at the heart of the climate change regime, and which demands the implementation of ambitious financing, technological support and capacity building," said the statement further.

The Ministers also agreed that fast-start finance will be key for an effective result in the climate change negotiations in Cancun (in December 2010) and expressed their concern over the lack of operational guidelines for the provision of such resources.

The Ministers also said in the joint statement that such financing should be new and additional, as well as provided as grants and on a concessional basis, respecting the definitions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the understandings achieved in Copenhagen.

The Ministers also emphasized that work on the MRV (measurement, reporting and verification) of international support must advance urgently, including through the development of common procedures for the reporting of finance.

Ministers who were present in the Rio meeting were Ambassador Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, Acting Minister of External Relations of Brazil, Ms. Izabella Teixeira, Minister for Environment of Brazil, Mr. Xie Zhenhua, Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission of China, Mr. Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Environment and Forests of India, and Ms. Buyelwa Sonjica, Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs of South Africa.

Also present was Special Envoy of Venezuela for Climate Change, Ms. Claudia Salerno Caldera, who attended as an observer.

The joint statement said that Ministers "underscored their support for the aspirational objective of keeping global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius with regard to pre-industrial levels, bearing in mind that social and economic development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of developing countries."

According to the joint statement, "Following the guidance defined by Ministers at their Cape Town meeting, experts from BASIC countries met and exchanged views on issues of equity. Ministers welcomed the results of these consultations. They underlined the need for further collaboration among BASIC experts on this issue, with a view to understanding the economic, social, scientific and technical implications of equitable access to carbon space and strengthening a common consideration of this matter."

"Ministers emphasized the issue of equitable access to carbon space as a central element in the building of a balanced and comprehensive outcome for the climate change negotiations."

The statement also said that Ministers "noted the distinction between MRV of emission reduction commitments by developed countries, which is related to compliance and comparability, and MRV of nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) by developing countries, which is related to transparency."

They "underscored that only supported NAMAs should be subject to international MRV, in conjunction with the MRV of international support, while non-supported NAMAs will apply a domestic MRV."

"International consultations and analysis of information regarding non-supported actions would be useful to enhance transparency, through a multilateral technical exchange under the UNFCCC," said the statement further.

The joint statement said that Ministers "reiterated the importance of the two-pronged approach, which envisages, on one hand, an ambitious and comprehensive outcome for the negotiations under both the Ad-Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action under the UNFCCC and the Ad-Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments by Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol, and, on the other hand, considers the elements for an equitable and balanced outcome in Cancun, covering, for example, different initiatives which could be supported by fast-start finance."

They also stressed "the need for detailed and comprehensive information on fast start financing flows provided by developed countries, to be made available officially. They also indicated the need for fast start financing to cover, in a balanced way, all the pillars of the Bali Action Plan, including adaptation and technology development and transfer."

Ministers, according to the joint statement, "reaffirmed their support for the G77 and China proposal regarding the financial mechanism of the UNFCCC and expressed their appreciation for the convergence within the negotiations on the creation of a new fund to fight climate change. They were of the view that public financing should play the major role as a predictable source of financing."

"In this sense, they stressed the importance that the work of the UN Secretary-General's High-level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing fulfill the expectations of developing countries and be in accordance with the principles of the UNFCCC," added the statement further.

The Ministers also "emphasized the importance of the unity of the Group of 77 and China and its role in multilateral negotiations, including in the construction and strengthening of the climate change regime. They also highlighted the role of BASIC as part of the Group of 77 and China and the importance that the BASIC countries maintain their full participation in the discussions and activities of the Group."

The Ministers also agreed to broaden consultations with other groups of countries, with a view to actively contribute to a successful and ambitious outcome in Cancun and beyond.

They "welcomed the offer of China to host the Fifth Meeting of Ministers of the BASIC Group on the 10th and 11th of October and commented on the strategic nature of the meeting as preparation for the Sixteenth Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP-16) and the Sixth Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP-6)."

"A meeting of experts would be held alongside this Ministerial meeting, in order to take forward the discussions on equitable access to carbon space and also address issues related to trade policy and climate change," said the statement further.+