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BASIC Countries Develop Joint Statement, Object to EU Aviation Carbon Tax

14 February 2012: The tenth BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change concluded with the adoption of a joint statement in which ministers indicate their "firm opposition" to the inclusion of international aviation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EUETS).

The 10th BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change, which was held in New Delhi, India, from 13-14 February 2012, was attended by representatives from Brazil, South Africa, India and China (BASIC). Ambassador Mxakato-Diseko, as representative of the 17th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) President, also participated in the meeting. In line with ‘BASIC-Plus' approach, Qatar (as incoming President of COP 18), Swaziland (as Chair of the African Group and as a member of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) group), and Singapore (as member of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS)) participated in the meeting as observers. Algeria (as Chair of G-77/China) was also invited.

In their joint statement, BASIC Ministers express their appreciation for the outcome of the Durban Conference and to the South African Presidency of COP 17. They welcome in particular the agreement on the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol and express their regret for Canada's decision to withdraw from the Protocol. They reiterate that the Kyoto Protocol's flexible mechanisms should only be available to those Annex I parties that have established quantified emissions reduction commitments in the second commitment period. Ministers also emphasize that Annex I parties that are not parties to the Kyoto Protocol must undertake comparable commitments under internationally agreed rules of accounting, measurement, reporting, verification and compliance. Ministers also recognize in the statement that the Durban Platform offers a clear opportunity for an equitable, inclusive, effective and strengthened climate change regime.

The statement also addresses: the importance of the Review of the implementation of the Convention; the role of the findings

of the fifth Assessment Report (AR-5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); the operationalization of the Green Climate Fund; and fast-start and long-term climate funding.

In their statement, Ministers state that the inclusion of international aviation in the EU-ETS "violates international law including the principles and provisions of UNFCCC and runs counter to multilateralism." They note that the unilateral action by the EU was taken "despite strong international opposition" and would "seriously jeopardize the international efforts to combat climate change." They further express concerns regarding the consideration of similar unilateral actions by developed countries in international shipping. [BASIC Joint Statement]