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"After" Copenhagen
Climate Change News

China, India, Brazil, S Africa Agree Climate Change Action - 24 Jan 2010  

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Four of the world's emerging economies, which account for 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions, Sunday said they will disclose their voluntary mitigation actions by Jan. 31 and called for developed countries to release $10 billion pledged for small developing nations to address climate change issues.

The decision was taken during a meeting of the climate ministers of the BASIC group of countries--Brazil, South Africa, India and China--which was held in New Delhi Sunday to discuss their joint strategy for the United Nations climate negotiations.

"The members of the BASIC group have already announced a series of voluntary mitigation actions for 2020. The ministers expressed their intention to communicate information on their voluntary mitigation actions to the United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change by Jan. 31," the four member group said in a joint statement after a seven-hour meeting.

The ministerial group didn't elaborate any further on the decision during a news conference.

The meeting was attended by China's Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reforms Commission Xie Zhenhua, India's Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, Brazil's Minister for Environment Carlos Minc and South Africa's Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Buyelwa Sonjica.

This was the first multilateral meeting after the climate change conference in Copenhagen, which gathered more than 190 governments for two weeks, resulted in a disappointing outcome with no real international accord on limiting global warming due to tensions between rich nations and poor countries.

The Copenhagen conference led to a non-binding accord which recognized the need for limiting global temperature by 2050 to below 2 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels. It also set a Jan. 31 deadline for nations to bring in their firm commitments for emission reduction and financial aid in the case of industrialized nations, and for voluntary actions against climate change in the case of developing nations.

However Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, Wednesday said Jan. 31 was a "soft deadline."

South Africa's Sonjica Sunday told a news conference in New Delhi BASIC nations "have an obligation to be first in meeting the deadline even if it was extended" as they were instrumental in the process of finalizing the accord.

The BASIC group of ministers also called for the early flow of the pledged $10 billion by developed countries to help least developed countries, small island developing states and countries of Africa to address the global challenge of climate change.

"That is the first milestone that has to be achieved. They have to put money on the table," India's Ramesh said at the news conference.

In the Copenhagen Accord, the developed countries had agreed to set up a climate fund named "Copenhagen Green Climate Fund" to provide $30 billion during the period 2010-2012 to support adaptation and mitigation actions of the developing countries and a commitment to mobilize $100 billion by 2020 for such purposes.

The BASIC group ministers agreed to meet at the ministerial level every quarter and to coordinate their positions closely as part of climate change discussions in other forums.


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Source: Wall Street Journal