New Delhi, São Paulo, Johannesburg and Beijing, January 18th, 2010 - Within a week, ministers from the four main emerging economies - Brazil, South Africa, India and China, will gather in New Delhi to discuss a joint strategy for the climate negotiations, which will be the first official multilateral meeting since the collapse of COP 15. The quartet, known as BASIC, proved to be one of the most influential groups at December’s climate negotiations.
Greenpeace wants to remind the countries attending the New Delhi meeting that the renewed power from their alliance in the international diplomatic arena comes with the major responsibility of leading the world in finding a solution to the climate crisis. Together, they account for 11 % of the worlds GDP and 30% of the global greenhouse gas emissions.
“We are at a crossroad of international diplomacy. The geopolitics of the 21st century will demand a much more bold and ambitious agenda”, said Siddarth Pathak, Climate and Energy Policy Officer at Greenpeace India. “The BASIC countries can no longer hide behind poorer nations. They have to live up to the international roles they must play in addressing climate change, the biggest threat facing humanity today.”
“They cannot also start to behave as the United States and other developed nations have in the recent past, facing the problem simply from their own national perspectives.” said Themba Linden, Political Advisor from Greenpeace Africa. “The BASIC countries, regarding the climate issue, have to lead the world in light of no leadership from the developed world achieving a legally binding agreement that takes into account the consequences of global warming to developing countries, especially the most vulnerable.”
“China, India, Brazil and South Africa have to join forces to move the work forward on agreeing a fair, ambitious and legally binding climate change deal at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s next meeting in Mexico.” said Ailun Yang, Head of Climate and Energy at Greenpeace China. “The Copenhagen Accord, a text negotiated by the BASIC group and the US, is insufficient and will not deliver the necessary measures to tackle climate change.”
The national emission reduction targets and other mitigation actions, individually and voluntarily declared by countries in Copenhagen are a clear display of lack of ambition and political will and puts the world on a path to a climate disaster. A confidential note from the UNFCCC secretariat shows that if they were followed, average global temperatures would rise above 3ºC – much higher than the safe limit established by science.
Besides playing a more progressive role in the international negotiations, the BASIC countries also have to take the lead in establishing a path for the development of sound, low carbon national economies, thus setting an example to others in the developing world. But beyond that, the BASIC countries, which are becoming global economic powers, should recognize that they have much to offer to poorer nations in terms of financing and technology transfers to help them adapt to global warming and develop in a climate friendly way.
“The BASIC group, as a new power, must ensure that vulnerable countries are not negatively affected by their actions or excluded from the negotiation process. They also need to scale up their domestic mitigation targets, and think about contributing finance and technology for adaptation and mitigation actions on climate change in other developing nations”, said Marcelo Furtado, Greenpeace Brazil's Executive Director. “This is the only way for China, South Africa, India and Brazil to break the deadlock that is preventing the planet from standing up to the climate crisis.”
For further information, contact:
Siddarth Pathak, Climate and Energy Policy Officer, +91.99.02.88.37.38,
Joao Talocchi, climate campaigner, +188.8.131.52.22.48,
Kiko Brito, communications director, +184.108.40.206.22.50,
Ailun Yang, Head of Climate and Energy, + 86 139 1051 4449,
Themba Linden, Political Advisor, +27 (0) 725 608 700,