BASIC countries call for acceleration of UN climate Convention process

Feature story - January 25, 2010

New Delhi, 25 January 2010 - Greenpeace welcomes the position taken by Ministers of the BASIC group of countries (Brazil, China, India and South Africa), who met yesterday in New Delhi, to continue negotiations on a fair and ambitious climate agreement within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. However, Greenpeace emphasised that such an agreement needs to be legally binding in order to ensure its implementation.

In their joint statement, ministers from the four leading emerging economies called for meetings of the climate convention's working groups on long-term co-operative action and the Kyoto Protocol to be held in March 2010. They also want the working groups to meet at least five times before the next major UN climate conference which is scheduled to start on 29 November 2010, in Mexico.

The Ministers underlined that UN climate talks occupy a central position and they called for all negotiations to be conducted in an inclusive and transparent manner. They also outlined their desire for better South-South scientific co-operation and support for vulnerable countries to adapt to climate change.Greenpeace is encouraged by the willingness of the BASIC group to support vulnerable countries, both by ensuring their participation in open and transparent negotiations and by providing technological and or financial support.

However, Greenpeace is calling on the BASIC countries to make this support more tangible by the time of its next meeting that the South African government is to host in April 2010.

Greenpeace also noted the further consolidation of the BASIC countries as a group and urges them to assume the responsibilities that go with an alliance of such influential economic powers.

Though the BASIC countries demonstrating leadership in furthering negotiations on a fair, ambitious and legally binding agreement, Greenpeace wants them to exert pressure on industrialised counties to

urgently reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make their own appropriate contributions in emission reductions.

"Continued inaction by governments would allow global warming to engulf us all," said Siddharth Pathak, Climate and Energy Policy Officer, Greenpeace India. "If we are to keep this demon at bay and avoid dangerous climate change, industrialised countries must cut their emissions together, 40% below 1990 levels by 2020 and provide massive financial and technological support to enable developing nations as a whole to reduce their projected growth in emissions by 15-30% over the same timescale. It's not easy but the consequences of failure would be among our worst nightmares," he said.