The Ministers responsible for dealing with climate change in Brazil, China, India and South Africa (the countries which form the BASIC group) issued a joint statement at the United Nation’s COP27 Summit on Tuesday. COP27 is being held at Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt. (In the case of South Africa, the responsible Minister is Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister Barbara Creecy.)
“[The] Ministers pledged their full support to the Egyptian COP27 Presidency for a successful conference, which should deliver an ambitious, equitable and balanced outcome, including substantial progress towards the establishment of a financial mechanism for Loss and Damage, the New Collective Quantified Finance Goal and operationalisation of the Global Goal on Adaptation, as well as completion of the Work Programme on Mitigation,” jointly affirmed the Ministers in their statement. “The introduction of a dedicated agenda item on a funding arrangement for Loss and Damage, at the initiative of developing countries, is a welcome development. Above all, COP27 should promote equity and justice by recognising the fundamental equality of all people and their inalienable human right to pursue economic growth and sustainable development, including the achievement of the [Sustainable Development Goals] by 2030 and ensuring and enabling just and equitable transition of developing countries.”
They highlighted that developing countries needed appropriate and predictable support to implement the Paris Agreement on climate change. This included the prompt provision of the requisite amounts of climate finance, as well as access to markets and technology. They called for the global financial architecture to be modernised and fundamentally transformed. Multilateral development banks had to be systematically reformed so that they could properly support sustainable development and just and equitable transitions. Currently, risk aversion meant that developing countries, with the majority of the global population, found multilateral financial support unaffordable.
They accused developed countries of not showing leadership on the issue and of backtracking on financial and mitigation commitments that they had previously made. They also noted that developed countries had, over the past year, greatly increased their production and consumption of fossil fuels, while simultaneously pressing developing countries to abandon these fuels. “Such double standards are incompatible with climate equity and justice,” affirmed the Ministers.
Further, the climate finance provided by developed countries continued to fall below the commitment of $100-billion a year, which had been the case for every year since this target was first set, in 2009. Moreover, that amount was inadequate anyway, and developed countries should establish a higher collective target, which would involve significant public funding and improved predictability and transparency. Developed countries were also lagging in their funding of the Adaptation Fund and the Green Climate Fund. “Finance to developing countries is also increasingly with unilateral conditionalities and eligibility criteria, predominantly in the form of loans rather than grants, aggravating the financial constraints faced by developing countries,” they stated.
They also expressed the view that adaptation was not getting the attention it needed, and that the Global Goal on Adaptation had to be fully operationalised. The Mitigation Work Programme should be nationally-determined, non-prescriptive and facilitative. It should not result in changes to the Paris Agreement targets.
“[The] Ministers emphasised that trust amongst partners is central to the success of the multilateral process and that climate change can only be successfully addressed through a collective multilateral response,” they stressed. “Unilateral measures and discriminatory practices, such as carbon border taxes, that could result in market distortion and aggravate the trust deficit amongst Parties, must be avoided. [The] BASIC countries call for a united solidarity response by developing countries to any unfair shifting of responsibilities from developed to developing countries.”
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