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Fifth BASIC Meeting Focuses on Preparations for Cancun

11 October 2010: The fifth ministerial meeting on climate change of Brazil, South Africa, India and China (BASIC) was held in Tianjin, China, from 10-11 October 2010, and focused on issues related to the Cancun Climate Change Conference.

In line with the “BASIC-plus” approach, representatives of Yemen (Chair of the G77), Argentina (incoming Chair of G77), Ethiopia (representing Africa), Grenada (Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS)) and Egypt (Chair of the Arab Group) attended the meeting as observers. In the joint statement issued at the conclusion of the meeting, ministers emphasized that the outcome of the Cancun Conference should be based on a balance between and within the two negotiating tracks under the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol, and supported reflecting the elements of the Copenhagen Accord in the negotiating texts for the two tracks. They further stressed that the outcome in Cancun should pave the way for a legally-binding outcome in South Africa in 2011, and should not deviate from the mandate of the Bali Roadmap.

The Ministers also: urged developed countries to commit to more ambitious emission reduction targets under the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol; called for developed countries that did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol to undertake comparable emission reduction targets under the Convention; and noted the significant distinction between the emission reduction commitments by developed countries and nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) by developing countries both in terms of their nature and content.

Ministers underscored that fast-start finance in the immediate future and up to 2012 will be the key to enhance confidence in the multilateral process and enable success in Cancun, underlining that US$30 billion should be made available as soon as possible in a transparent manner. They expressed full support for the establishment of a new fund under the UNFCCC, with public funding being provided by developed countries as its primary source. They further reiterated the need to: deal with adaptation as a matter of urgency in Cancun; ensure that intellectual property rights do not become a barrier to technology transfer; and establish an effective mechanism for technology development and transfer.

Ministers noted that the diversity of views on more ambitious aspirational objectives than keeping the global temperature increase below 2ºC links directly to reaching a political understanding of equity. In this respect, ministers reaffirmed that equitable access to sustainable development will be the foundation of any climate change agreement and the prerequisite for setting up any global emission reduction target, taking into account: developed countries' historical responsibility; developing countries' need for space and time to achieve sustainable development; and the need for developed countries to provide adequate finance, technology and capacity building support to developing countries.

In addition, ministers opposed unilateral actions against developing countries' products and services on climate change-related grounds, considering them incompatible with the UNFCCC and noting that they will seriously jeopardize international collaboration on climate change and international trade. Finally, ministers welcomed India's offer to host the sixth BASIC ministerial meeting on climate change in February 2011. [Joint Statement]