Joint Statement Issued at the Conclusion of theFifth BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change
Tianjin, China, 11 October 2010
The Fifth BASIC Ministerial meeting on climate change was held in Tianjin, China, on the 10th and 11th of October 2010. H.E. Mr. Xie Zhenhua, Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission of China, H.E. Mr. Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Environment and Forests of India, H.E. Ms. Buyelwa Sonjica, Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs of South Africa, and H.E. Mr. Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado, Ambassador and Director General of the Department for the Environment and Special Affairs of Ministry of External Relations of Brazil, as well as H.E. Mr. Liu Zhenmin, Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China attended the meeting. In line with the “BASIC-plus” approach, representatives of Yemen, Chair of G77, Argentina, incoming Chair of G77, Ethiopia, Chair of the African Group, Grenada, Chair of AOSIS, and Egypt, Chair of the Arab Group were invited and attended the meeting as observers.
BASIC ministers focused their discussions on issues in relation to the Cancun Conference, and expressed their determination to facilitate a comprehensive and balanced outcome in Cancun in accordance with the mandate of the Bali Roadmap.
Ministers highly appreciated the successful meeting of UN Climate Change Conference held in Tianjin from 4th to 9th of October 2010, which laid the solid ground for a good outcome in Cancun.
Ministers emphasised that the outcome of Cancun Conference should be based on the balance between and within the two negotiating tracks under Convention and KP, and that the Cancun Conference should be open, transparent, inclusive, party driven and based on consensus. Ministers supported the reflection of the elements of the Copenhagen Accord that contains the political understandings in the negotiating texts of the AWG-LCA and AWG-KP.
Ministers reiterated the importance of the two tracks approach, which envisages, an ambitious and comprehensive outcome for the negotiations under both the AWG-LCA and AWG-KP in Cancun. Ministers emphasised that the outcome in Cancun should pave the way for a legally binding outcome next year in South Africa. The Cancun outcome should not in any way deviate from the mandate of the Bali Roadmap.
Ministers underscored that fast-start finance now and up to 2012 will be the key to enhance confidence in the multilateral process and enable success in Cancun. They emphasised that the $30 billion fast start finance should be made available as soon as possible in a transparent manner. They expressed their concern with the lack of transparency and the relevant information on fast start finance and reiterated that these resources must be new and additional to the existing ODA and bilateral funds.
Ministers agreed that mid- and long- term financial support provided by the developed countries are also an important part of the Cancun outcome. They affirmed their full support for the establishment of a new fund under the UNFCCC and agreed that the public funding provided by developed countries should be the primary source of this fund.
Ministers urged developed countries to commit to more ambitious emission reduction targets under the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. Ministers called for developed countries that did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol to undertake comparable emission reduction targets under the Convention.
Ministers noted the significant distinction between the emission reduction commitments by developed countries and nationally appropriate mitigation actions by developing countries both in terms of their nature and content.
Ministers emphasised that developing countries are the most affected by the impact of climate change and that developed countries have a obligation to provide finance and technology support to developing countries for adaptation. They reiterated the need to deal with adaptation as a matter of urgency in Cancun.
Ministers underscored the importance attached to developed countries fulfilling their obligations of technology transfer and agreed that intellectual property rights should not be allowed to become a barrier to technology transfer. They were of the view that positive progress should be made in Cancun for the establishment of effective mechanism for technology development and transfer.
Ministers reaffirmed their support for the aspirational objective of keeping global temperature increase well below 2 oC, bearing in mind that social and economic development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of developing countries. Ministers also recognised diversity of views on more ambitious aspirational objectives. Ministers believed that the resolution to this issue links directly to reaching a political understanding of equity.
Ministers reaffirmed that equitable access to sustainable development will be the core of and foundation for any climate change agreement and that this will be the prerequisite for setting up any global emission reduction target. This must take into account historical responsibility of developed countries, the need for space and time to achieve sustainable development in developing countries, and the need for the provision of adequate finance, technology and capacity building support by developed countries to developing countries.
Following the guidance by Ministers at their meeting in Rio, BASIC experts met and exchanged views on issues of equity, and trade and climate change. Ministers welcomed the results of the follow-up to these consultations made here in Tianjin. They underlined the need for further collaboration among BASIC experts on these issues. Ministers emphasised the importance of the issue of equitable access to sustainable development as a central element in building a comprehensive and balanced outcome for climate change negotiations. Ministers requested their experts to continue discussions and to extend them to the equity dimensions of adaptation. Ministers rejected the notion of unilateral actions against products and services of developing countries on grounds of combating climate change, including tax and non-tax, or other fiscal and non-fiscal border or other measures, which are incompatible the principles and provisions of the UNFCCC and will seriously jeopardize international collaboration on climate change and international trade.
Ministers reiterated that the BASIC as part of the Group of 77 and China will continue to work and strengthen the unity of the Group, and play a constructive role in facilitating climate change negotiations. In thanking the representatives of Yemen, Argentina, Grenada, Ethiopia, and Egypt for their presence and valuable contribution, the Ministers decided to continue this “BASICplus” approach.
Ministers welcomed the offer of India to host the Sixth BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change in February 2011.