Home >Politics >Policy >Climate change: BASIC nations ask developed countries to act

New Delhi: The draft negotiating text for a new global climate change agreement for 2015 must be ready by the end of this year, in time for an important conference of parties, the BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) group of nations said on Friday.

Ministers of the four countries issued the joint statement at the end of a two-day ministerial meeting held in New Delhi to discuss climate change negotiations ahead of the next round of talks in Lima, Peru, in December.

The new agreement is to be signed in Paris in November-December 2015. Environment, forests and climate change minister Prakash Javadekar said that the draft negotiating text must be ready one year before the final conference in order to ensure a fruitful outcome in 2015.

The BASIC statement said that developed countries should take the lead in addressing climate change in keeping with their historical responsibilities.

Under the existing Kyoto Protocol, developed countries are supposed to make meaningful cuts in their greenhouse gas emissions while developing countries are not bound by any such deadlines. This is based on the principle of historical responsibility, which holds that developed countries have been the historical polluters that have caused climate change—mainly through the process of industrialization.

The four ministers said that the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibility (CBDR) also need to be reiterated in the new agreement.

“Our actions have been more concrete than actions of some of the developed countries," Javadekar said, referring to steps taken by the four countries.

The statement also mentioned the need to communicate their intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) which would include mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology development, technology transfer and capacity building.

Joyashree Roy, professor of economics at Jadavpur University, said that it was heartening to see that the BASIC countries were thinking of a comprehensive and holistic approach on INDC. “They are talking about technology development and not just technology transfer. This is shift from the previous stand. The talk about capacity building also ensures it is covered comprehensively."

Roy said that the developing nations will have to come up with a road map of how the financial transfer should happen. “It should be concrete as developed countries would not come up with a plan for finance," she added.

Javadekar said that the BASIC countries were doing their homework and holding continuous meetings and that efforts by developing nations would build pressure on developed nations to do more on climate change.

He said that the four countries would prepare a compendium of all the actions taken by them on climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts and put up a united front at the next round of talks.

While the agreement is likely to be signed in 2015, it will become effective only post 2020, when the term of the Kyoto Protocol expires. The joint statement said that developed countries need to ensure that the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol is also ratified speedily.

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