Media statement on the conclusion of the 23rd Basic Ministerial Coordination meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco
18 October 2016
The Minister of Environmental Affairs Dr. Edna Molewa has chaired the 23rd BASIC Ministerial Coordination meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco.
The BASIC group of countries– Brazil, India, China and South Africa – meet regularly on the margins of sessions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
BASIC meetings have become an important forum for the group to coordinate positions in the international climate change negotiations and broadly support the G77 plus China group.
This is the second meeting of BASIC Ministers since the adoption of the Paris Agreement at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in December 2015.
Also in attendance were H.E. Mr. Xie Zhenhua, Special Representative for Climate Change of China, H.E. Mr. Anil Madhav Dave, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change of India, and H.E. Ambassador Antonio Marcondes, Under Secretary-General for the Environment, Energy, Science and Technology, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil.
In line with the ‘BASIC-plus’ approach, H.E. Mr. Salaheddine Mezouar, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Morocco and incoming President of COP22/CMP12/CMA1 and H.E. Ambassador Wael Abou El Magd, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Environment and Sustainable Development of Egypt (on behalf of the chair of the African Ministerial Conference of the Environment (AMCEN) also attended.
The Ministers emphasised the importance of the upcoming COP22 as an important step in the process of implementation of the Paris Agreement and as another milestone to accelerate pre-2020 implementation.
They also reaffirmed that work on the implementation of the Paris Agreement and acceleration of pre-2020 implementation should be in full accordance with the principles of equity and Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities.
The Ministers reiterated the importance of an open, transparent, inclusive and Party-driven process.
Other issues highlighted and reinforced by the BASIC Ministers in their joint statement released at the conclusion of the meeting included:
- Renewing their commitment to work with all Parties for COP22 to result in greater understanding and convergence on key issues related to the implementation of the Agreement, and expressed confidence that further concrete progress will be made on pre-2020 action and the global action agenda. Furthermore, BASIC Ministers reiterated their commitment to strengthen the unity and advancing the common interests of the Group of 77 and China.
- Stressing the importance of accelerating the implementation of commitments and actions in the pre-2020 period, and in particular ratifying the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol and addressing the gaps on Mitigation, Adaptation and provision of Means of Implementation. In this regard, the Ministers urged developed country Parties to revisit and increase their quantified emission reduction targets and enhance provision of means of implementation to allow developing countries to scale up mitigation and adaptation efforts, in order to lay a solid foundation for post-2020 enhanced ambition and implementation.
- Suggesting that the Facilitative Dialogue in Marrakesh on accelerating pre-2020 implementation should be comprehensive and productive, with a view to developing further concrete recommendations on pre-2020 implementation and ambition, including by strengthening the performance of the existing institutional arrangements under the Convention.
- Welcoming the imminent entry into force of the Paris Agreement on 4 November 2016. They acknowledged, in particular, the rapid ratification of the Paris Agreement by many Parties, including members of BASIC. Ministers recognised the ongoing efforts of other Parties to the Convention and strongly encouraged them to ratify the Agreement as soon as possible.
- Noting that as a result of this development, the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA) of the Paris Agreement will take place in Marrakesh in conjunction with COP22. Ministers emphasised the need for an inclusive process in completing the work mandated by Decision 1/CP.21 in preparation for the implementation of the Agreement. In that sense, Ministers called for the continuation of the mandates conferred to the Ah hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement, Subsidiary Body for Implementation, Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice and other constituted bodies until 2018, under the supervision of the COP, in order to prepare draft decisions to be recommended to the CMA.
- Noting that the CMA should not conclude its first session in conjunction with COP22, in order to give remaining Parties to the Convention time to ratify the Agreement and to make further progress on the work programme mandated by Decision 1/CP.21. Ministers called on the CMA to make the necessary arrangements during COP22 to initiate consideration of relevant matters as mandated in the Paris Agreement in an inclusive manner.
The BASIC Ministers emphasized the need at COP22 to make further progress towards the operationalization of the provisions related to adaptation in the Paris Agreement.
They further reiterated that developed countries should provide financial resources, technology development and transfer and capacity-building support to developing countries for their effective implementation and ambitious actions under the Paris Agreement. Ministers emphasised the importance of making progress in Marrakesh on identifying concrete and clear pathways to reaching the goal of USD100 billion per annum in climate finance by 2020. With USD100 billion per annum as a starting point, developed countries should progressively and substantially scale up their financial support in the post-2020 period. In addition, Ministers emphasised the need for the COP to initiate the mandated consideration of information to be provided by developed countries on public financial resources as part of their Biennial Communications of Indicative Support on the provision of climate finance to developing countries. Ministers called for increased clarity and robust methodologies, to be developed under the Convention, to account for and track climate finance provided by developed countries.
The need for support to developing countries for effective implementation of their mitigation and adaptation actions was emphasized: this must be done through accelerating the work on the new Technology Framework and the Technology Mechanism - including its assessment for meaningful and tangible dissemination, transfer and deployment of technology from developed to developing countries. They also emphasized the role of innovation and international cooperation on climate related technology in enhancing global actions.
The importance of capacity building in the implementation of the Paris Agreement was emphasized. The Ministers expressed the hope that the terms of reference for the Paris Committee on Capacity-Building, agreed by all Parties at the May 2016 session of the UNFCCC in Bonn, will be adopted at COP22. They also highlighted the significance of operationalising the Capacity-Building Initiative for Transparency, and urged developed countries to provide additional and adequate support to developing countries for enhancing their capabilities on transparency of action and support received.
Ministers emphasised the vital importance of the global stock-take in assessing collective progress on all the elements of the Paris Agreement, as well as assessing progress towards meeting agreed global goals in light of equity and best available science. Such a comprehensive stock-take should build on past experience and lessons learned from existing relevant work under the Convention, including among others the 2013 - 2015 Review and the NDC synthesis paper issued by the Secretariat, with a view to allowing Parties to update and enhance actions and support, in a nationally determined manner and in accordance with relevant provisions of the Paris Agreement.
Ministers noted the adoption of the HFCs amendment to the Montreal Protocol and the outcomes of the 39th Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization. In this context, measures related to these outcomes should be consistent with the principle of CBDR&RC.
Ministers highlighted the efforts of BASIC countries and other developing countries in tackling climate change, both pre- and post-2020, and emphasized that these represent far more ambitious efforts compared to their respective responsibilities and capabilities. Ministers also commended the climate action initiatives by BASIC members, namely the International Solar Alliance led by India, the Biofuture Platform led by Brazil, which will be launched at COP22, and the China South-South Climate Cooperation Fund. Ministers agreed to further strengthen the cooperation and solidarity among the BASIC countries.
In conclusion, the BASIC Ministers welcomed the offer of China to host the 24th BASIC Ministerial meeting.
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