TWN Info Service on Climate Change (Nov18/01)
21 November 2018
Third World Network

BASIC ministers urge developed countries to close pre-2020 gaps by 2023

Delhi, 21 Nov (TWN) - Ministers of BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) at their 27th ministerial meeting held in Delhi, India, on 19-20 Nov, urged “developed countries to take urgent actions to close the pre-2020 implementation gaps by 2023 which can be a useful input for the first GST (global stocktake)”.

In a statement made available to Third World Network following the meeting, the ministers highlighted the significant gaps in pre-2020 mitigation, adaptation and support to developing countries and underlined that these gaps should not present an additional burden to developing countries in the post-2020 period.

The meeting was chaired by Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change of India and attended by Edson Duarte, Minister of the Environment of Brazil, Xie Zhenhua, Special Representative for Climate Change Affairs of China and Tsakani Ngomane, Deputy Director General for Climate Change, Air Quality and Sustainable Development, Department of Environmental Affairs of South Africa.

The ministers also reiterated that the Paris Agreement is a significant step for advancing global action against climate change, based on the recognition of the needs and special circumstances of developing countries in accordance with the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR-RC), in the light of different national circumstances. They emphasized that global climate action should promote climate justice and a just transition by recognizing the fundamental equality of all people in accessing economic growth and sustainable development.

In relation to the Special Report on global warming of 1.5 °C that was released in October by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the ministers said that the special report highlights the high vulnerability of developing countries to climate change effects and high resultant costs of adaptation. They recalled that the “Paris Agreement aims to limit the temperature rise to well under 2°C, and aspires to limit it to 1.5°C, recognizing that countries will need to act expeditiously to achieve this aim based on the principles of Equity and CBDR-RC, in the light of different national circumstances”.

On the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP), the ministers emphasized that CBDR-RC, in the light of different national circumstances, should be operationalized in all elements of the PAWP and the “outcome of the PAWP should support the enhancement of ambition without backsliding on the rules-based system”.

In relation to the nationally determined contributions, the ministers reiterated that the countries’ contributions are nationally determined and comprise “action on mitigation, adaptation and means of implementation”. Recalling the ambitious NDCs put forth  by the countries in the context of addressing poverty and sustainable development, the ministers reaffirmed that the “successive NDCs must show progression”.

“The Ministers underlined that the current work on guidance in relation to mitigation components of NDCs should assist Parties with the preparation and communication of their NDCs, respecting the nationally determined nature of Parties’ contributions and should not impose onerous requirements on developing countries,” the statement read.

On adaptation, the ministers emphasized that the “PAWP should provide guidance on both ex-ante and ex-post adaptation information in adaptation communications and biennial transparency reports respectively with the aim of providing clarity on the progress towards achieving the global goal on adaptation”. The ministers also emphasised the importance of enhanced and predictable support for adaptation from developed to developing countries and recognising the adaptation efforts of developing countries.  

The ministers noted that the “enhanced provision of new, adequate and predictable finance, technology development and transfer as well as capacity- building support by developed countries to developing countries are key enablers for developing countries to achieve higher ambition in their actions, in the context of sustainable development”. The ministers reiterated the importance of public finance for enhanced climate ambition by developing countries, urged developed countries to fulfill their climate finance commitments, and encouraged them to scale up their financial support, including resources in the Green Climate Fund, and finalise a “new collective finance goal to inform Parties for future action through NDCs”.

The ministers stressed on the importance of equal progress on ex-ante and ex-post biennial communication of quantitative and qualitative information by developed countries on public financial resources to be provided to developing countries referred to in Article 9.5 as well as Article 9.7 of the Paris Agreement. They also stressed that development of review guidelines to ensure the robustness of reported information on provision of support would help build trust among Parties.

They also called for robust guidelines on the enhanced technology framework and periodic assessment of the effectiveness and predictability of technology support under the Technology Mechanism, while stressing the need for a clear link between the technology and financial mechanisms. They also urged developed countries to enhance support to developing countries “to facilitate effective implementation of the Convention and its Paris Agreement”.

On transparency framework, the ministers emphasized that “guidance being developed under the enhanced transparency framework must be balanced and comprehensive to address not only mitigation, but very importantly adaptation including loss and damage, as well as support”. The ministers were of the view that “flexibility must be provided and built into the Modalities, Procedures and Guidelines (MPGs) for developing countries that require it in line with their national circumstances”, and they stressed that “adequate and predictable financial and other support should be provided to developing countries to fulfill their obligations under the enhanced transparency framework”. In this regard, the Ministers “strongly supported the extension of the mandate of the Consultative Group of Experts (CGE) so that it can continue its support for developing countries in implementing transparency-related provisions and enhancing their relevant capacities under the Convention and its Paris Agreement”.

(The term of the CGE, which provides technical advice and support to developing countries for fulfilling their reporting obligations under the Convention, ends in 2018. At the climate talks in Bonn from 30 April to 10 May this year, the G77 and China registered its concern that no substantive conclusions were made on the work of the CGE and called for a concrete decision on CGE by the end of the year. See related TWN Update.)

In relation to Global Stocktake (GST), the ministers asserted that “GST should be conducted in the light of equity and the best available science” and “the process should be comprehensive, considering mitigation, adaptation, means of implementation, as well as including loss and damage and response measures, and reflecting equity”.

On the Talanoa Dialogue, the ministers underscored that pre-2020 actions and support would be a crucial element of the dialogue and that they looked forward to the dialogue and “its successful culmination in 2018 as per the agreed modalities”.

The ministers recognized the importance of efforts to address greenhouse gas emission reductions under the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on climate change and underlined that “such efforts must complement the  UNFCCC, its Kyoto Protocol and its Paris Agreement and conform to their key principles, in particular Equity and CBDR-RC”.