South Africa to host climate meeting

11 July 2012

South Africa will host the 11th BASIC ministerial climate change meeting in Johannesburg on Thursday and Friday, featuring ministers from Brazil, South Africa, India and China.

The four countries formed the BASIC alliance in November 2009, ahead of the Copenhagen climate summit in December 2009, with the aim of defining a collective position on emission reductions and climate aid money.

The Environmental Affairs Department announced on Tuesday that the meeting in Johannesburg will implement the agreement the ministers reached at the 10th ministerial coordination meeting in New Delhi, India in March.

A precursor to COP18

"During the meeting, the BASIC ministers will exchange views on the progress made in implementing the Durban decisions, as well as the conclusion of the Bali Roadmap negotiations at COP18/CMP8 in Qatar later this year," the department said in a statement.

COP18/CMP8 is the 18th Conference of the Parties (COP18) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the 8th Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP8). The conference will take place in Doha, Qatar from 26 November to 7 December.

It is expected that the negotiations on long-term cooperative action and further commitments for Annex I countries under the Kyoto Protocol - industrialised countries and economies in transition - will be terminated at COP18/CMP8.

Progress in the implementation of the Durban meeting decisions is, therefore, a key necessity for the successful conclusion of the Bali Roadmap in Qatar.

'A meeting of experts and chief negotiators'

The BASIC meeting will also be used to discuss implementation of the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action - decided on at COP17 - which prompted the negotiations for a post-2020 climate regime.

The ministerial meeting will be preceded by a meeting of experts and chief negotiators from the four countries.

Their discussions will focus on the various approaches for raising ambition pre-2020 and how to find meaningful expression of equitable access to sustainable development in UNFCCC.

Several other developing countries have also been invited to the meeting, including Algeria, The Gambia, Qatar, Swaziland and the South-Pacific island, Nauru.

Representing the BASIC countries will be South Africa's Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa; Brazil's Vice Minister for Environment, Energy, Science and Technology in the Ministry of External Relations Ambassador Luis Alberto Figueiredo Machado; China's Vice Chairman of National Development and Reform Commission Minister Zhenhua Xie; and the additional secretary to the government of India, Mira Mehrishi.

Source: SANews.gov.za

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