New Delhi, Nov 21:
India, Brazil, South Africa and China Tuesday asked developed countries to “substantially” scale up their financial support and fulfil their commitments of mobilising USD 100 billion per annum by 2020 for developing nations. In a joint statement issued at the conclusion of the 27th BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change, the four nations said public finance is the fulcrum of enhanced climate ambition by developing countries and urged developed countries to fulfil their climate finance commitments.
Meanwhile, India said despite much talk about financial support and technology transfer to the developing world by the developed nations, “unfortunately” they have only taken place in discussions and nothing has happened on the ground. “Our sincerity (in taking actions to tackle climate change) should not be taken for granted,” Indian Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said, adding the BASIC group wants to assert this in a big way and make it a big issue in the upcoming crucial climate summit in Poland.
The four nations in the joint statement also took note of the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on global warming of 1.5°C, which highlights the high vulnerability of developing countries to climate change effects and high resultant costs of adaptation.
“Ministers reiterated that public finance is the fulcrum of enhanced climate ambition by developing countries and urged developed countries to fulfil their climate finance commitments of mobilising USD 100 billion per annum by 2020.”
“They encouraged developed countries to progressively and substantially scale up their financial support and finalise a new collective finance goal to inform parties for future action through NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions),” the joint statement said.
The BASIC meeting was chaired by Harsh Vardhan and attended by Edson Duarte, Minister of Environment of Brazil; Xie Zhenhua, Special Representative for Climate Change Affairs of China; and Tsakani Ngomane, Deputy Director General for Climate Change, Air Quality and Sustainable Development, Department of Environmental Affairs of South Africa.
The joint statement said the BASIC ministers emphasized their deep concern for climate change and reaffirmed their commitment to the successful implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), its Kyoto Protocol and its Paris Agreement, and to promote a global green and low carbon transition and ecological civilisation with a view to building a community with a shared future for mankind.
Later addressing a press conference, Harsh Vardhan said many of the promises or commitments of fulfilling pre-2020 climate actions has not been done and the BASIC group want to ensure that if they are not able to fulfil by 2020, they have to do it post 2020. “The issue of creating and mobilising 100 billion USD by the developed countries for the developing countries — we are saying when there is a global stock taking in 2023, before that a new target should be there.
“Lot of emphasis in this meeting on ensuring how the finance issue is handled. Because there is so much talk about financial support and technology transfer to the developing world by the developed nations. But unfortunately all of these things are happening only in discussion and on the ground nothing is happening. The BASIC group wants to assert this in a big way and make it a big issue in the COP 24,” Vardhan said. His Chinese counterpart expressed similar views and said finance is of key concern to developing countries.
“We hope they (developed nations) will honour their commitment of providing 100 USD billion per annum before 2020 and also in the post 2020 period to further raise that amount to support capacity building, technology etc. This is very important in making the multilateral process more effective,” he said.
The other two ministers also echoed similar reactions.
The joint statement said, “Ministers noted that the enhanced provision of new, adequate and predictable finance, technology development and transfer, as well as capacity-building support by developed countries to developing countries, are key enablers for developing countries to achieve higher ambition in their actions, in the context of sustainable development.”
The four nations also reiterated their commitment to work together with all parties in an open, transparent, inclusive and party-driven manner to achieve a balanced and comprehensive outcome to finalise the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP) at COP 24, fulfilling the mandate agreed in COP 22, that sets the groundwork for the implementation of the Paris Agreement.” Welcoming the launch of the first formal replenishment process of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the ministers also called on developed countries to scale up resources pledged to the GCF for mitigation and adaptation actions in developing countries.