Environment ministers of BASIC to discuss climate strategy

Source: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/environment-ministers-of-basic-to-discuss-climate-strategy/articleshow/11866395.cms

NEW DELHI: For the first time since the Decemberclimate change meet in Durban, environment ministers from the BASIC countries – Brazil, South Africa, India and China – will come together in New Delhi this week. The meeting will be focused on working out a common and concerted strategy on the proposed new global climate change regime.

The United Nations-sponsored discussions on the proposed climate regime, or the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, will begin this year. At Durban, the countries agreed to have the post-2020 climate agreement in place by 2015. The first round of submissions for the new regime to the UNFCCC secretariat is due by February 28 .

The New Delhi meeting is closely watched to assess the future prospects of the group comprising the four emerging economies. Since the Copenhagen round of talks in 2009, the BASIC has emerged as a key component for a successful outcome in climate talks.

At Durban, however, differences in approach among the countries came to the fore. The differences, stressed by the European Union at Durban, are unlikely to make the quartet dysfunctional. The four countries differed on the question of the legal nature of the proposed global climate agreement. China and India were ranged together, with both countries opposing a legally binding agreement.

South Africa, which has never been opposed to the idea of a legal agreement, supported the idea as did Brazil, the other member of the quartet.

However, none of these positions were new, even at the 2010 meet in Cancun, there were differences among the four on the issue of legal nature known as the Article 17 discussions.

Whatever their differences on the legal nature, the quartet is committed to the idea of equity as the bedrock of a climate agreement, and the principle of common, but differentiated responsibilities. The New Delhi meeting will focus on the question of equity.

Especially, as the four countries work out a coordinated response for submissions to be made to the UNFCCC for “increasing ambition to reduce emissions” under the Durban Platform.

Discussions would also deal with the proposed workshops on equity.

The BASIC has prepared a technical paper on the issue.

Another issue that will feature in the BASIC meet is the response to unilateral measures. This was one of agenda items proposed by India, backed by the BASIC, for the Durban rounds.

The recent developments on the inclusion of aviation in the European Union emission trading scheme, which is a unilateral measure, will feature in the meet. While China has asked its airlines not to participate in the EU emission trading scheme, India has registered its opposition to the scheme.

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