TWN Info Service on Climate Change (Oct13/12)
30 October 2013
Third World Network

Warsaw Climate Conference should be about ‘implementation’ of decisions say BASIC 

Geneva, 30 Oct (Meena Raman) – Ministers and representatives from the BASIC countries have  emphasized that the Warsaw Climate Change Conference to be held next month should be an “implementation COP”, referring to the 19th meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP19) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The BASIC countries comprise of Brazil, South Africa, India and China and this call was made at the conclusion of the 17th BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change which was held in Hangzhou, China, on 28 and 29 October 2013.

In a joint-statement issued from the meeting which was made available to Third World Network, the ministers further emphasized that the “effective implementation of the Bali, Cancun, Durban and Doha outcomes will be paramount for trust building amongst Parties in order to create the necessary conditions and an international enabling environment for a successful conclusion of the work on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action. (DP)”

(The work on the DP under an Ad hoc Working Group [ADP] refers to negotiations for a new agreement under the Convention to be concluded by 2015 which is ‘applicable to all’).

The Ministers also stressed that “finance is key to the success of the Warsaw Conference. They urged developed countries to honour their obligations to provide new, additional and adequate financial support to developing countries in a measurable, reportable and verifiable manner, with firm and secured commitments of funding for the period from 2013 to 2020 and a clear roadmap to reach the goal of providing US $100 billion per year by 2020.”  

They also reiterated that “public financial resources should be the main source of such funding while financing from the private sector could only be supplementary.”

According to the joint-statement, the Ministerial meeting was attended by Mr. Xie Zhenhua, Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission of China, Ambassador José Antonio Marcondes de Carvalho, Under Secretary-General for the Environment, Energy, Science and Technology of the Ministry of External Relations of Brazil, Mr. Ravi Shanker Prasad, Joint Secretary of Ministry of Environment and Forests of India, and Mr. Maesela Kekana, Chief Director in charge of International Climate Change Negotiation and Relations of Department of Environmental Affairs of South Africa. Also in attendance was Mr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources of Singapore as an observer.

The Ministers further called for “the full operationalization of and close coordination between institutions established in the Bali process, including the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Standing Committee on Finance, the Technology Executive Committee, the Climate Technology Center & Network, and the Adaptation Committee.”  They reiterated that “the work of the GCF should be under the authority of, guided by and accountable to the COP.”

They emphasized further that “enhanced ambition by Annex I countries should not be contingent upon adoption or recognition of any market-based approaches. They also emphasized that discussions on the new market mechanism will be meaningless unless mitigation targets by developed countries are significantly increased to an ambitious level.”

The ministers reiterated that “the DP process is to further enhance the full, effective and sustained implementation of the Convention. The work of ADP shall be under the Convention and guided by its principles, in particular the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. The ADP process is by no means to renegotiate, rewrite, restructure, or reinterpret the Convention or its principles, provisions and Annexes.”

They also emphasized that “the Convention itself has provided the structure and design of the 2015 agreement, which defines the differentiation between developed and developing countries. The 2015 agreement shall adhere to the principles, provisions and structure of the Convention, in particular the provisions of Articles 4 and 12 as well as the Annexes, which fully reflect the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities.”

They further reiterated that “the 2015 agreement should address all elements” referred to the decision adopted in Durban, “in a balanced and comprehensive manner, and should not just be confined to mitigation.”

The ministers stressed that “the negotiation on the 2015 agreement should focus on enhanced actions that need to be undertaken for the implementation of the Convention from 2020 in full accordance with the principles and provisions of the Convention” and 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.”

They also emphasized that “developed countries should take the lead in combating climate change in accordance with their historical responsibilities and what is required by science, by undertaking ambitious quantified economy-wide emission reduction targets and fulfilling commitments of providing finance and technology support to developing countries.”

The ministers noted that it is important for the Warsaw Conference “to encourage and support Parties to engage in domestic consultations and preparations in the context of ADP negotiations. They further called on developed countries to do their homework particularly on their provision of finance, technology and capacity building support to developing countries in addition to their mitigation commitments.”

On the pre-2020 ambition, the ministers said that this “must be addressed in a comprehensive manner primarily through the implementation of the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (KP) and the agreed outcome of the Bali Action Plan.”

They noted with concern that the “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.”

They reiterated that “the contribution of developing countries to mitigation efforts is far greater than that of developed countries, and noted that the pre-2020 mitigation gap would not have existed if the developed countries had committed to an emission reduction of 40% below their 1990 levels by 2020” and urged “developed country parties to immediately undertake early enhanced mitigation actions and to provide financial resources to support mitigation and adaptation actions that have been put forward by developing countries.”

The ministers underlined that “the KP remains the essential basis for mitigation ambition” and  emphasized “the importance of ratifying by all Parties as early as possible the Doha Amendment regarding the second commitment period under the KP.”

They further urged “developed country parties participating in the second commitment period under the KP to revisit and significantly increase their emission reduction targets in 2014, and urged developed countries that are not part of the second commitment period to raise the ambition of their comparable commitments under the Convention within the same timeframe.”

They called for “the Warsaw Conference to make necessary arrangements for effective implementation of the 2014 Revisit in order to increase the quantified emission reduction commitments of developed countries for the second commitment period under the KP.”

In respect of hydroflorocarbons (HFCs), the ministers reaffirmed that they “are greenhouse gases covered under the UNFCCC and its KP and shall be addressed through all relevant multilateral fora in accordance with the principles and provisions of the UNFCCC and its KP, taking into account the availability of safe and technically and economically viable alternatives.” They further emphasized that “it is essential that developed countries provide new and additional financial resources to support developing countries to address the HFCs issue.”

They also welcomed the Resolution of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) adopted at its 38th Assembly that “the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities and mutual agreement should underpin the work of designing and implementing the market-based measures for emissions from international civil aviation” and reiterated “their strong objection to any unilateral measures regarding emissions from international civil aviation.”

In relation to the 2013-2015 Review, the ministers reiterated that it “must adhere to the principles of the Convention and proceed in a comprehensive and balanced manner” and “considered it crucial to maintain the balance between the work on adequacy of the long-term global goal and the overall progress made towards meeting the goal, including the implementation of the commitments under the Convention.”

India is to host the next Ministerial meeting on Climate Change.