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TWN Info Service on Climate Change (Oct16/04)
18 October 2016
Third World Network


BASIC Ministers call for “inclusive process” in completing Paris Agreement tasks

Geneva, 17 Oct (Meena Raman) – Ministers of the BASIC countries (comprising Brazil, South Africa, India and China) emphasised the need for “an inclusive process” in completing the tasks under the Paris Agreement (PA), in preparation for its implementation.

This call was made in a joint statement issued at the conclusion of the 23rd BASIC Ministerial meeting on Climate Change on 17 October, in Marrakesh, Morocco. (The statement was made available to Third World Network.)

The BASIC meeting was attended by Edna Molewa, Minister of Environment of South Africa, Xie Zhenhua, Special Representative for Climate Change of China, Anil Madhav Dave, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change of India, and Ambassador Antonio Marcondes, Under Secretary-General for the Environment, Energy, Science and Technology, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil.

Also present were Salaheddine Mezouar, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Morocco, who is also the incoming President of the 22nd meeting of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 22) and Ambassador Wael Abou El Magd, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Environment and Sustainable Development of Egypt on behalf of the chair of the African Ministerial Conference of the Environment (AMCEN).

In welcoming the imminent entry into force of the PA on 4 November this year, the Ministers noted that as a result of this, the first meeting of the Conference of Parties meeting as the Parties to the PA (referred to as the CMA) will take place in Marrakesh in conjunction with COP 22.

(On 5 October 2016, the threshold for entry into force of the PA was achieved. Currently, 81 Parties have ratified the PA, out of 197 members of the Convention. The PA will therefore enter into force on 4 Nov.

An issue that has been gripping Parties, especially those who have yet to ratify the PA, is whether the process in Marrakech to craft the rules for implementation of the Agreement will remain inclusive of all Parties to the Convention, or exclusive to only those who are Parties to the PA.)

In this regard, the BASIC Ministers in their joint-statement “emphasised the need for an inclusive process in completing the work” mandated by the decision adopted in Paris (decision 1/CP.21) last year, in preparation for the implementation of the Agreement.

They called for “the continuation of the mandates” conferred to the various subsidiary and constituted bodies of the Convention “until 2018, under the supervision of the COP, in order to prepare draft decisions to be recommended to the CMA.”

The Ministers noted that the CMA “should not conclude its first session in conjunction with COP22, in order to give remaining Parties to the Convention time to ratify the Agreement and to make further progress on the work programme mandated by decision 1/CP.21.”

They called on the CMA “to make the necessary arrangements during COP22 to initiate consideration of relevant matters as mandated in the PA in an inclusive manner.”

In their joint statement, the Ministers emphasised the importance of the Marrakesh Climate Change Conference “as an important step in the process of implementation of the PA and as another milestone to accelerate pre-2020 implementation.”

They also “reaffirmed that the work on the implementation of the PA and acceleration of pre-2020 implementation should be in full accordance with the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR-RC). They reiterated the importance of an open, transparent, inclusive and Party-driven process.”

The Ministers also stressed “the importance of accelerating implementation of commitments and actions in the pre-2020 period, and in particular ratifying the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol (relating to the second commitment period of the Protocol covering the timeframe of 2013-2020) and addressing the gaps on mitigation, adaptation and provision of means of implementation.”

In this regard, they urged “developed country Parties to revisit and increase their quantified emission reduction targets and enhance provision of means of implementation to allow developing countries to scale up mitigation and adaptation efforts, in order to lay a solid foundation for post-2020 enhanced ambition and implementation.”

The Ministers also suggested that the ‘Facilitative Dialogue’ in Marrakesh on accelerating pre-2020 implementation “should be comprehensive and productive, with a view to developing further concrete recommendations on pre-2020 implementation and ambition, including by strengthening the performance of the existing institutional arrangements under the Convention.”

(The PA deals with contributions by Parties to climate action in the post-2020 timeframe, while pre-2020 actions refer to current commitments under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol.)

The BASIC Ministers emphasised the need at COP22 “to make further progress towards the operationalisation of the provisions related to adaptation in the PA.”

They reiterated that “developed countries should provide financial resources, technology development and transfer and capacity-building support to developing countries for their effective implementation and ambitious actions under the PA.”

The Ministers also emphasised “the importance of making progress in Marrakesh on identifying concrete and clear pathways to reaching the goal of USD100 billion per annum in climate finance by 2020.”

“With USD100 billion per annum as a starting point, developed countries should progressively and substantially scale up their financial support in the post-2020 period”, they stressed in the joint statement.

In addition, the Ministers also emphasised “the need for the COP to initiate the mandated consideration of information to be provided by developed countries on public financial resources as part of their ‘Biennial Communications of Indicative Support’ on the provision of climate finance to developing countries.”

They also called for “increased clarity and robust methodologies, to be developed under the Convention, to account for and track climate finance provided by developed countries.”

The statement further underscored “the need for support to developing countries for effective implementation of their mitigation and adaptation actions through accelerating the work on the new Technology Framework and the Technology Mechanism including its assessment for meaningful and tangible dissemination, transfer and deployment of technology from developed to developing countries.”

They also emphasised “the role of innovation and international cooperation on climate related technology in enhancing global actions.”

The Ministers further emphasised the importance of capacity-building in the implementation of the PA. They expressed the hope that the terms of reference for the Paris Committee on Capacity-Building, agreed by all Parties at the May 2016 session of the UNFCCC in Bonn, will be adopted at COP22. They also highlighted the significance of operationalising the ‘Capacity-Building Initiative for Transparency’, and urged developed countries “to provide additional and adequate support to developing countries for enhancing their capabilities on transparency of action and support received.”

The statement also emphasised “the vital importance of the ‘global stocktake’ in assessing collective progress on all the elements of the PA, as well as assessing progress towards meeting agreed global goals in light of equity and best available science.”

The Ministers said that “such a comprehensive stocktake should build on past experience and lessons learned from existing relevant work under the Convention, including among others the 2013-2015 Review and the NDC (nationally determined contributions) synthesis paper issued by the Secretariat, with a view to allowing Parties to update and enhance actions and support, in a nationally determined manner and in accordance with relevant provisions of the PA.”

They also noted the adoption of the hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) amendment to the Montreal Protocol and the outcomes of the 39th Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization.

“In this context, measures related to these outcomes should be consistent with the principle of CBDR-RC,” said the statement further.

The Ministers also highlighted the efforts of BASIC countries and other developing countries in tackling climate change, both pre- and post-2020, and emphasised that “these represent far more ambitious efforts compared to their respective responsibilities and capabilities.”

They also “commended the climate action initiatives by BASIC members, namely the International Solar Alliance led by India, the Biofuture Platform led by Brazil, which will be launched at COP22, and the China South-South Climate Cooperation Fund.” The Ministers agreed to “further strengthen the cooperation and solidarity among the BASIC countries.”

The next meeting of the BASIC will be held in China.

 


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