BASIC asks developed nations to prioritise Green Climate Fund

A four-nation grouping on Climate Change asked industrialised nations to "prioritise" the operationalisation of Green Climate Fund to support concrete mitigation actions by developing countries.

Updated: Feb 17, 2013, 00:22 AM IST

Chennai: A four-nation grouping on Climate Change including India and China today asked industrialised nations to "prioritise" the operationalisation of Green Climate Fund to support concrete mitigation actions by developing countries.

The 14th Ministerial meeting of BASIC Group -- comprising Brazil, South Africa, India and China -- also strongly opposed any unilateral approach by the European Union on international aviation and shipping.

"Ministers underscored that early and meaningful operationalisation of the mechanism set up in recent years to support developing countries, including the Green Climate Fund, Technology Mechanism and Adaptation Committee, needs to be prioritised," said a joint statement issued at the end of BASIC ministerial meeting on climate change here.

Governments have pledged to establish a Green Climate Fund that will function under the guidance of, and be accountable to the Conference of the Parties (COP).

Initially, they had agreed to provide USD 30 billion for the period of 2010-12, but the developed nations have not acted on that.

"I was told so far only USD 7 billion has been provided," Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan, who represented India at the meeting, told reporters.

The fund is envisaged to support projects, programmes, policies and other activities in developing countries using thematic funding windows.

Besides Jayanthi Natarajan, Chinese climate Minister Xie Zhenhua, senior Climate official from Brazil Carlos Augusto Klinki and South Africa`s Climate negotiator Alfred James Wills participated in the meeting

The Ministers also stressed the importance of achieving the
goal of providing USD 100 billion per year by 2020 as committed by developed countries and underscored the need for a clear roadmap in this regard.

The European Union`s move to push for an EU model single global carbon emissions framework for air travel in the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) was also strongly opposed by the BASIC nations.

"In the context of international civil aviation negotiations in ICAO, they (BASIC) rejected the unilateral approach of EU under the EU-ETS and reiterated the importance of adhering to multilateralism," the statement said.

There was no need to focus on the entire basket of measures and considerably enhance work on non-market based measures.

"The discussion on market based measures in ICAO, even if these market based measures are undertaken within the national jurisdiction, should be based on the principles of the UNFCCC, (United Nations Framework for Climate Change Convention) environmental integrity, voluntary participation and not prejudge the outcome of the negotiations in UNFCCC," it said.

Elaborating on the need to operationalise Green Climate Fund, Natarajan said it was not possible for developing countries to battle climate change unless there was adequate funding.

"Finance in the short and long term becomes extremely important and capitalisation of green climate fund is something that has a very important role. Therefore, there has to be a clear road map on how finances is going to be increased in the short term and in the long term," she said.

The Minister said the meeting emphasised the importance of the unity of BASIC countries and their close engagement with G77 and China group in voicing concern of developing countries in the forum of United Nations Framework for Climate Change.

She said it was decided that there would be no renegotiation of what was agreed upon at Durban.

Natarajan said it was also agreed at the meeting that
decisions should not be taken on sectoral actions, including in the field of agriculture.

She said countries like India are absolutely particular that there should be no prescriptive policies in the agricultural sector because it is most important sector.

Recalling that EU had stopped sectoral actions after BASIC strongly opposed the move, she said, "Unless there is adequate provision, in terms of finance we do not want these sectoral actions to be taken."

She also said trading of carbon credits should not be done unless it was based upon the principle of environmental integrity.

At the meeting, it was decided to ask experts of BASIC countries to work on certain areas including the Black Carbon issue, the issue of coal, the report of Climate Change committee and present report to the grouping.

"We will also continue our engagement with other developing countries, G77, China, so that we can arrive at a common platform and raise a united voice while reaffirming our commitment to the adverse effects of climate change," Natarajan said.