BASIC group calls for adoption of "Kyoto 2" in Doha
Author: Maria Carolina Marcello and Marcelo Teixeira
Ministers from Brazil, India, China and South Africa called for an extension of the Kyoto Protocol, the world's only treaty that forces countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions, which expires at the end of the year.
The emerging economies, who form the BASIC bloc, met in Brazil's capital Brasilia on Thursday and Friday to discuss their common negotiating position for the upcoming climate talks in Doha, Qatar, in November.
They said a new Kyoto commitment period should start on January 1 and that a decision on the treaty's fate should be "a key deliverable for Doha and an essential basis for ambition within the regime."
The EU and poorer nations have said they want to extend the treaty, which set binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community, but still remain split over how to do so.
A Kyoto resolution, as well as advancing talks on how to agree in 2015 a deal to force all nations to cut emissions starting in 2020, will be major priorities at the Qatar talks.
"The idea is that the results from the Durban conference, which were carefully balanced, should be fully implemented," said Brazil's Foreign Relations Minister Antonio Patriota.
COMMON BUT DIFFERENTIATED
At last year's U.N. climate talks in Durban, South Africa, the EU-led efforts to get a tentative deal that would get all emitters, including the BASIC countries, to set emissions reduction targets.
While the BASIC group recognized that all countries "should participate in an enhanced global effort to be implemented after 2020" it stressed that its countries should not take on the same level of commitment as industrialized countries.
The BASIC countries said the new agreement should "respect the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities," referring to their view that rich countries should take on more of a burden to reduce emissions because of their historical contribution to global warming.
The U.S., which did not sign the Kyoto treaty because major economies, such as China and its BASIC partners, did not adopt binding targets, has said it expects the countries to do so in a 2020 agreement.
The BASIC members also addressed the controversial issue of Europe's inclusion of international airlines in its carbon cap-and-trade system, expressing "concern" about what they called its "unilateral action."
"This approach undermines confidence and weakens efforts to tackle climate change on a multilateral basis," they said.
The BASIC countries will hold their next meeting in China in November just before the Doha climate talks.
Along with Patriota, Brazilian Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira, Xie Zhenhua, Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission of China, Edna Molewa, Minister of Environmental of South Africa, and Bellur Shamarao Prakash, Ambassador of India to Brazil, participated in the meeting.
Argentina, Algeria (chair of the Group of 77 and China), Barbados and Qatar were also represented as invited parties.
(Editing by Valerie Volcovici and M.D. Golan)