Kate Mackenzie BASIC meeting may try to heal the rift with poorer countries

Speculation has been rife about what might be on the agenda at a meeting this Sunday between leaders from China, India, South Africa and Brazil, where the four emerging giants will discuss their stance on international climate agreements. The meeting reportedly has no set agenda, so there have been guesses at what might be discussed, such as insistence on deeper cuts from developed countries, and advice has been handed out by NGOs to the participants.

India’s Economic Times suggests that transfer of funds from the wealthier developing economies to their poorer and smaller brethren, after signs of factions and anti-China sentiment emerged within the G-77 group of developing nations at Copenhagen:

With the group—Brazil, South Africa, India and China—now focusing on climate change negotiations leading to the conference at Mexico, it will need to work out ways in which it can make common cause with the rest of the developing bloc. There has been a sense that in Copenhagen, the emerging economies or the more advanced developing countries had broken ranks with the G-77. For the BASIC to retain its negotiating strength it will need to reach out to the vulnerable countries in the developing group.

Too true. There were definite signs during Copenhagen of a rift between some of the small island states, most vulnerable to climate change, and big emerging nations like China.

However such a fund might be even more lacking in structure than the meeting itself:

“The details of the fund are still being worked out,” a senior ministry official said. The proposed fund will be bilateral in nature and not under the auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change. The fund is unlikely to be a formal set up as that would require setting up of structures. Instead each of the four countries—Brazil, South Africa, India and China—will co-ordinate their climate related aid to vulnerable countries.

Related links:

China vs Tuvalu (FT Energy Source, 11/12/09)
The green fund (FT Energy Source, 15/12/09)
Copenhagen climate experts’ forum: Financial commitments (FT Energy Source, 16/12/09)