BASIC Ministers Discuss Cancun Outcome

28 February 2011: The Sixth BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change was held from 26-27 February 2011, in New Delhi, India. In line with the "BASIC-plus" approach, representatives from Argentina (as Chair of G-77/China), Algeria and Maldives were also in attendance.

According to the Joint Statement issued at the conclusion of the meeting, BASIC Ministers exchanged views on the outcome of the Cancun Climate Change Conference in late 2010 and the run-up to the Durban Climate Change Conference in late 2011. While agreeing that the Cancun Agreements were a step forward in the global action on climate change and provided the space to address some outstanding issues, BASIC Ministers emphasized that the Cancun Agreements were not a substitute for the Bali Road Map, which must continue to be the template for future work of the UNFCCC parties.

Furthermore, BASIC Ministers emphasized the need for clear elaboration of a process to convert pledges into economy-wide emission reduction obligations and rules to account for both mitigation and finance by Annex I Parties, in particular for accounting and compliance to be done in balance with the work on the guidelines for international consultation and analysis, recommending that the guidelines for monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) for developing countries should be less onerous than the rules for enhanced MRV for developed country parties.

BASIC Ministers further stressed the importance of: the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol; the effective operationalization of the mechanisms for providing financial and technological support to developing countries; and the need to avoid a gap between the first and the second commitment periods. They observed that equity, intellectual property rights and trade were not adequately addressed in the Cancun Agreements, charging a group of experts to prepare a synthesis document on equitable access to sustainable development for the next BASIC meeting. Ministers agreed that adaptation financing should include a mechanism for loss and damage, and that the adaptation and REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, including conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of carbon stocks) should be addressed in a defined timeframe. They further urged that sizeable flow of funds under the Fast Start Funds begin before discussions on the Green Climate Fund gain momentum. They also suggested that the Technology Mechanism agreed at Cancun should go beyond providing technical assistance and capacity building to enable acceleration of the development and piloting the technologies that are appropriate for developing countries, noting a direct link between the Technology Mechanism and the Financial Mechanism. The Ministers indicated their belief that the issue of phase down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) with high global warming potential required in-depth examination.

Ministers finally committed to mobilize political support for the success of the Durban climate change conference, the Rio 2012 Summit and the next conference of the parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The Seventh BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change will be held in South Africa in May 2011. [Joint Statement]