Taking forward the concerns of developing countries, the BASIC nations - Brazil, South Africa, India and China - have resolved to take up all the critical issues, including access to finance and technology, to its logical conclusion during the remaining days of the ongoing UN climate conference (COP23) so that it could prepare a ground for implementation of the Paris Agreement. The talks will enter the high-level segment on Wednesday.

The senior representatives\ministers of the group of four nations took up those issues during their first joint meeting here on Monday and underlined that the issue of pre-2020 must be given "equal treatment at COP23" -- a demand that has, so far, not been resolved despite repeated call by developing countries for its inclusion in the agenda of the current Conference.

"Ministers look forward to an outcome in COP23 that gives clarity in the design of the facilitative dialogue (FD) in 2018", said a joint statement of the BASIC nations. It clearly underlined that the "developed countries must take the lead towards closing the ambition gap so as to avoid transferring the burden to developing countries from the pre-2020 to the post-2020 period".

The pre-2020 actions are mandated for only rich nations under the Kyoto Protocol whereas the post-2020 action under the Paris Agreement are meant for all countries as per their voluntarily stated targets for climate action, stated in the global deal which was adopted in the French capital in December, 2015.

The articulation is expected to dominate the high-level segment. It is expected that the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron will try to signal a political way forward when they speak about a collective stand of developed countries towards implementation of the Paris Agreement with taking concerns of the developing countries on board.

Articulating India's position, the country's environment secretary C K Mishra on Tuesday said there were some issues which we are concerned as a country. "Those (issues) are access to finance, technology and capacity building. We are not talking anything different. These are all aligned with the Paris Agreement", said Mishra who represented India in the BASIC meeting.

Referring to the sticking points, including the issue of pre-2020, he admitted that the movement (of negotiation) was a little slow so far. "It was slower than what we had expected. All our negotiators have, however, been put across the country's view point and I would say, by and large, we have been able to get our viewpoint in the larger text".

Source: Nov 14, 2017, The Economic Times