TWN Info Service on Climate Change (Oct14/03)
13 October 2014
Third World Network

Investment in adaptation is a contribution say BASIC

New Delhi, 13 Oct (Indrajit Bose) — Ministers and senior officials from the BASIC countries underscored that investment in adaptation by developing countries would represent an “adaptation contribution” as part of their intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs).

In a joint statement issued on 10 October 2014 at the conclusion of the 19th BASIC Ministerial meeting on climate change in South Africa, the ministers and senior officials from Brazil, South Africa, China and India also indicated that national adaptation plans (NAPs) could be the basis for Parties’ adaptation INDCs.

(At the Conference of the Parties in Warsaw (COP19), Parties agreed that they would “initiate or intensify domestic preparations for their intended nationally determined contributions …and to communicate them well in advance of the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (in Paris) (by the first quarter of 2015 by those Parties ready to do so…”.)

The ministers and officials also said that adaptation requires a global response and is “as important as mitigation”. They added that adaptation needs would be driven by the extent of adverse effects of climate change now and in future.

Stressing on the importance of reaching an agreement in Lima, Peru (in December this year) on elements for a draft negotiating text for the 2015 agreement, as well as the information that they will provide when putting forward their INDCs, they reiterated that INDCs must cover mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology development and transfer and capacity-building, in line with Parties’ respective commitments under the Convention.

They also wanted clarity on how developing countries would be supported in the implementation of their contributions under the 2015 agreement, given the crucial socio-economic challenges their countries face, and they hoped that the UNFCCC meeting of the COP in Lima would provide them this clarity. “The 2015 agreement must establish a clear link between the actions by developing countries to contribute to effectively addressing the climate change challenge and the scale of finance, technology and capacity-building support required by them for implementation,” the joint statement reads.

The ministerial meeting was attended by Edna Molewa, Minister of Environmental Affairs of South Africa, Xie Zhenhua, Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission of China, Ashok Lavasa, Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change of India and José Antonio Marcondes de Carvalho, Under Secretary-General for the Environment, Energy, Science and Technology of the Ministry of External Relations of Brazil.

The ministers also said the Lima COP (COP 20) must ensure adequate resource allocation to the Adaptation Fund and the adaptation window of the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Referring to COP20 as an important “important milestone for the successful conclusion of the negotiation of the 2015 agreement”, the ministers called for strengthening the multilateral rules-based regime under the Convention to achieve its objective. The ministers reiterated that “as agreed at COP17 in Durban, the 2015 agreement should be in accordance with the principles and provisions of the Convention, in particular the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibility and respective capabilities.”

On the 2015 agreement, the ministers agreed that it must provide an “inclusive, equitable and effective framework” within which Parties can put forward their contributions to keep the world on a path to limit the increase in average global temperatures to below 2° C. “The agreement should allow Parties to progressively enhance their contributions, without providing for regression on existing commitments,” the statement reads. The elements of the 2015 agreement should reflect common and differentiated commitments related to mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology transfer and capacity building.

The ministers and senior officials reiterated at the 19th meeting that all elements in Paragraph 5 of the Durban COP decision—mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology development and transfer, transparency of action and support, and capacity—should be treated in a balanced manner in the 2015 agreement (Paragraph 5 of the Durban decision reads: …decides that the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action [ADP] shall plan its work in the first half of 2012, including, inter alia, on mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology development and transfer, transparency of action and support, and capacity-building…).

The ministers also emphasised that existing institutions and mechanisms under the Convention should be further strengthened beyond 2020. There should be provisions to strengthen institutional linkages between the Adaptation Committee, Technology Executive Committee, Standing Committee on Finance, GCF and other operating entities of the Convention’s financial mechanism.

The ministers agreed that the 2015 agreement should ensure transparency, minimise the ambition gaps, and keep its implementation under review, in accordance with the principles and provisions of the Convention.

On pre-2020 ambition gap, the ministers highlighted the need for enhanced ambition and said that delivery of existing commitments by developed country Parties would contribute to enhancing trust and confidence that is “indispensable for the successful conclusion of the 2015 agreement”.

The ministers also stressed that the developed countries need to provide clearer indications on meeting their US$100 billion climate finance commitment by 2020 along with “meaningful and substantial” contributions to the GCF. While the ministers welcomed the announcements of some developed countries for the initial capitalisation of the GCF, they called on other developed countries to do so no later than the pledging session for the initial resource mobilisation process of the Fund in November 2014.

The ministers also reflected on the UN Secretary General’s Summit in New York on 23 September 2014 and welcomed the “political momentum” achieved at the meeting.

Brazil will host the next ministerial meeting in the first semester of 2015.