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BASIC group urges developed countries to ‘walk the talk’ on climate

BASIC Group

BASIC countries have called on developed nations to ‘walk the talk’ on climate change. Courtesy of Prakash Javadekar, Twitter

Brazil, South Africa, India and China (BASIC) have reiterated their stand of the climate change negotiations, raising the pressure on developed nations to “walk the talk” when it comes to climate action.

Meeting in New Delhi at the groups’ 18th ministerial level meeting, the environment ministers of the four countries appeared to harden their stance on the developed world, urging wealthy nations to “significantly” enhance and introduce “transparency” in their mitigation action.

They also called on countries to meet their commitments on green finance, and expressed their disappointment over the “continued lack of any clear roadmap for providing $100 billion per year by developed countries by 2020.”

The money – which is expected to go into the Green Climate Fund – is aimed at helping developing nations mitigate their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.

The pledging of finance for the fund is expected to vital to ensuring developing countries are both willing and able to take on emission reduction commitments under the 2015 climate treaty.

The environment ministers kept their cards close to their chest about what such commitments could mean for their countries.

Joydeep Gupta and Juhi Chaudhary from India Climate Dialogue explains:

Developed countries had been hoping that the four governments would at least drop a hint that they would be willing to take on legally binding greenhouse gas emission control commitments by 2020, but there was no sign of that.

Instead, as the two-day meeting ended, host Prakash Javadekar, India’s minister for environment, forests and climate change, stressed that “developed countries must walk the talk” and improve their emission reduction commitments.

The New Delhi meeting was the first opportunity for the group’s representatives to meet since the UN climate change negotiations in Warsaw last November.

Discussions focused on strategies and tactics to bolster the negotiation process for a new climate deal ahead of this year’s meeting in Lima in December – the next major step on the road to Paris 2015 and a new global treaty on climate change.

All countries are expected to put forward their national contributions to such a treaty by March 2015.

In a statement released at last week’s summit, the ministers said all parties should meet this deadline and publish plans as soon as possible, and that a new deal must work in accordance with the principles of equity and common by differentiated responsibilities.

Climate negotiations in recent years have been plagued by an age old divide between the developed and developing world.

Developing nations have called for rich nations – with historic responsibility for climate change – to lead the way on action. Meanwhile developed nations are calling on big emerging economies to also take on strong commitments.

The four BASIC ministers reiterated their position.

Reaffirming that developing countries have done a lot more than the developed world to mitigate climate change, they said they would go further if developed nations fulfilled their commitments to provide funds, technology and capacity building support.

Francisco Gaetani, Deputy Minister of Environment of Brazil, said:

We are proud of our efforts at emission reductions. But developed countries need to walk the talk. They haven’t fulfilled their commitments yet. We don’t feel obliged but the developed countries need to showcase their efforts first.

The ministers also called for elements of a draft negotiating text for the 2015 outcome to be ready for discussion at the November summit in Lima.

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