Press release from Ministers of BASIC countries, Marrakesh, Morocco

17 November 2016


The Ministers of Brazil, South Africa, India and China (BASIC) met today in Marrakesh, Morocco, to take stock of the progress achieved thus far in the Marrakesh Climate Conference (COP22/CMP12/CMA1) and to compare notes on further work required as this important conference enters its final days. They conveyed their appreciation to the Kingdom of Morocco for hosting the conference and for the warm hospitality.

The Ministers reiterated their unwavering commitment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and noted the enduring relevance of the Convention’s principles and provisions, such as equity and CBDR&RC, to successfully tackling one of the most serious challenges of our times. The Convention and its Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement provides the primary platform for inclusive and fair collective action by the international community to urgently address climate change, informed by the latest science.

In this regard, the Ministers welcomed the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement, which represents the best contract possible in balancing the circumstances of all countries and thereby the best opportunity for the international community to reverse the disruption of the Earth’s climate systems caused by human activities. This is the time for urgent action.

The direction of travel from Paris is irreversible. There can be no backtracking on commitments by developed Parties, and no attempts to renegotiate the terms of the pact reached in Paris. Parties must live up to their responsibilities.

Ministers vowed to continue and strengthen the leadership role their countries have demonstrated – both in the negotiations in the UNFCCC and in terms of concrete action on the ground, to reduce emissions, and to adapt to climate change impacts. The Ministers therefore stressed the urgency of enhancing pre-2020 action and ambition, and they emphasised the importance of the Doha Amendment entering into force without further delay, and also the realisation of the goal of mobilising $100 billion per year of climate finance by 2020. The Marrakesh Climate Change Conference is an implementation and action-oriented COP and has provided the BASIC countries, and many others, with a useful platform for launching action initiatives.

The Ministers expressed full confidence that a direct and legally sound way would be found at the Conference to progress with the technical work required to operationalise the Paris Agreement in a balanced and comprehensive manner.

The BASIC Ministers will continue to advance the legitimate interests of all fellow developing countries, with emphasis on the needs of developing countries particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, but who are least responsible for causing it. In this context, Ministers stressed that adequate means of implementation support, in the form of climate finance, technology transfer and capacity building, for all developing countries that require it, is indispensable if we are to meet the temperature reduction goals and adaptation goal set out in the Paris Agreement.

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Albi Modise
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