BASIC countries meet in China for climate talks
New Delhi: With barely a month left for the global climate change negotiations in Durban, ministers from BASIC countries (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) will hold a crucial meeting in Beijing Monday to discuss their perspectives on key issues.
China will host the ninth BASIC ministerial meet Oct 31-Nov 1. A meeting of experts will be held alongside this meeting to carve out a strategy for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties 17 (COP 17) to be held in Durban, South Africa, Nov 28-Dec 9.
Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan will be representing India in the China talks. "I will be taking part in the BASIC meeting from Monday to discuss some of the key issues ahead of the Durban talks," Natarajan told IANS before leaving for China.
She said that BASIC countries are likely to carry forward their discussions on the issues raised during the last meeting in Brazil.
The Joint Statement of Ministers issued at the end of the Brazil meeting in August 2011 reiterated the importance of achieving "a comprehensive, balanced and ambitious result in Durban in the context of sustainable development and in accordance with the provisions and principles of the UNFCCC, in particular the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities".
According to an official accompanying Natarajan, India will also raise the issue of South Africa linking extension of Kyoto Protocol (only legally binding agreement that calls for mandatory emission cuts by rich countries and voluntary cuts by developing nations) with a legal pact that covers all countries.
"India is opposed to any legally binding cuts for developing countries," he said.
Industrialised or developed countries have a historical responsibility to cut emissions, since they have been emitting greenhouse gases for several years. The developing world, on the other hand, insists on its right to industrialise, and resists emission cuts.
This is the key point of disagreement between the two blocs.
India is also likely to discuss its recent proposal to the UNFCCC calling for including three contentious issues that have been left out during the Cancun, Mexico, talks last year.
The issues are unilateral trade measures, intellectual property rights (IPR) and equitable access to sustainable development.