Statement by the BASIC ministers

The statement from the January 24 meeting among representatives from Brazil, South Africa, China and India (via The Hindu):

The second meeting of Ministers of the four BASIC Group countries took place in New Delhi on January 24 2010. Earlier, the Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh met with the four Ministers on the evening of January 23. The Ministers who participated in the meeting were H.E. Xie Zhenhua, Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reforms Commission from China, H.E. Carlos Minc, Minister for Environment from Brazil, H.E. Buyelwa Sonjica, Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs from South Africa and H.E. Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Environment and Forests from India. The current G-77 Chair – Yemen – had also been invited but could not attend because of other commitments.

The Ministers recalled, that the BASIC Countries functioning as a cohesive group, had made important and constructive contributions at the recently concluded COP-15 in Copenhagen. They re-emphasised their commitment to working together with all other countries to ensure an agreed outcome at COP-16 in Mexico later this year.

The Ministers underscored the centrality of the UNFCCC process and the decision of the Parties to carry forward the negotiations on the two tracks of Ad hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) under the Convention and the Ad hoc Working Group on further emission reduction commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) in 2010 leading up to COP-16 and COP/MOP6 at Mexico. The Ministers reiterated that all negotiations must be conducted in an inclusive and transparent manner.

The Ministers called upon the COP President (Denmark) to convene meetings of the two negotiating groups — (AWG-LCA and the AWG-KP) – in March 2010 and to ensure that the AWGs meet at least 5 times before the Mexico Conference. They emphasised that funding, logistics and other procedural issues should not be allowed to become a constraint in the convening of these meetings which are essential to make progress towards an agreed outcome at COP-16.

While underscoring their support to the Copenhagen Accord which is in the nature of a political agreement, the Ministers recalled the important contribution of the BASIC countries in its finalisation. They underlined the importance of the Accord as representing a high level political understanding among the participants on some of the contentious issues of the climate change negotiations. They expressed the hope that this would facilitate the two-track process of negotiation under the Bali Roadmap to lead to a successful conclusion of ongoing negotiations in Mexico.

The members of the BASIC Group have already announced a series of voluntary mitigation actions for 2020. The Ministers expressed their intention to communicate information on their voluntary mitigation actions to the UNFCCC by January 31, 2010.

The Ministers called for the early flow of the pledged $10 bn in 2010 with focus on the least developed countries, small island developing states and countries of Africa, as proof of their commitment to urgently address the global challenge of climate change. In this context, the Ministers welcomed the progress made on the proposal for financing and implementation of the REDD+ mechanism and decided to undertake close coordination to this end.

The Ministers agreed to meet at the Ministerial level every quarter, and welcomed the offer of South Africa to host the next meeting of the BASIC Ministerial Group in late-April, 2010. They agreed to coordinate their positions closely as part of climate change discussions in other forums. They emphasised the importance of working closely with other members of Group of -77 & China in order to ensure an ambitious and equitable outcomes in Mexico through a transparent process.

The Ministers also emphasised that BASIC is not just a forum for negotiation coordination, but also a forum for cooperative actions on mitigation and adaptation including exchange of information and collaboration in matters relating to climate science & climate-related technologies. The Ministers expressed their desire to enhance South-South cooperation with other countries on various issues including those relating to scientific cooperation and support for adaptation to vulnerable countries.

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