Developing countries have shown commitment to climate change

Sunday, July 15, 2012

In this regard, developed countries must rise to their historical responsibilities and take the lead by undertaking robust and ambitious mitigation commitments consistent with science, and in accordance with the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.

This is according to a communique issued by the ministers dealing with climate change from the BASIC group of countries - Brazil, South Africa, India and China. The ministers met in Sandton, Johannesburg on Thursday and Friday for the 11th BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change.

The meeting implemented the agreement the ministers reached at the 10th Ministerial Coordination meeting in New Delhi in March 2012.

The BASIC countries have been increasingly playing a significant role in international environmental governance - with South Africa having hosted COP17-CMP7, Brazil hosting the Rio+20 Conference, with India expecting to COP10 of the Convention on Biological Diversity in the coming months and China hosted the UNFCCC inter sessional meeting in Tianjin during 2010, in the run-up to COP16-CMP6 in Cancun.

The ministers called for the adoption of a ratifiable 2nd Commitment Period under the Kyoto Protocol and its immediate implementation at the beginning of 2013, in order to successfully conclude the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group - KP at Doha.

"Ministers emphasised that this year is for implementation focusing on the adoption of the amendment to Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol, the adoption of the agreed outcome pursuant to decision 1/CP.13 and the launching of the Durban platform," reads a joint statement issued at the conclusion of the meeting on Friday.

South African Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa said the ministers were satisfied with the Durban outcome and that Africa would be in a position to continue with its measures in the reduction of carbon emissions.

She highlighted that Africa was part of the whole world and they were also happy with the outcome of the Rio+20 conference, adding that there were measures to move on to transition to green economy.

"We've begun implementing alternate energy resources, we've committed and are ready going forward."

Ambassador Luiz Figueiredo Machado, under Secretary for Environment, Energy, Science and Technology of the Ministry of External Relations in Brazil emphasised that although Africa was not responsible for the emissions, they were ready to help.

"The change we are experiencing is the result of emission occurred long time ago and the responsibility of the industrial countries.....we are not responsible for what is going on, but we are ready to help to fight the problem [climate change]," said Machado.