BASIC Ministerial joint statement on Climate Change
20 September 2023
1. Ministers of Brazil, South Africa, India and China, representing the BASIC Group, met on 20 September 2023 at the margins of the Climate Ambition Summit, in New York, united by their shared vision that the fight against climate change must be firmly based on the goals, principles and provisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), its Kyoto Protocol and its Paris Agreement, in the context of sustainable development and the transformation of global governance. The meeting was chaired by H.E. Ms. Marina Silva, Minister of Environment and Climate Change of Brazil, and attended by H.E. Ms. Barbara Creecy, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment of South Africa; H.E. Mr. Zhao Yingmin, Vice-Minister of Ecology and Environment of China; and Ambassador R. Ravindra, Deputy Permanent Representative of Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations.
2. Ministers recognized that climate change represents one of the greatest challenges of our time and that addressing it requires progress towards sustainable development and the mobilization of all of humanity’s resources to tackle structural inequalities within and among countries, while paving the way for just transitions towards low-carbon and climate resilient societies.
3. Deeply concerned that trends towards unilateralism, trade protectionism and fragmentation of international cooperation jeopardizes trust and, consequently, ambitious climate action, the Ministers pledged to strengthen and deepen BASIC leadership and joint work in actions aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving adaptation and resilience to the adverse effects of climate change, promoting unhindered technology transfer, and enhancing scientific climate knowledge, in particular through the creation of local value and the development of local capabilities in developing countries.
4. Ministers urged the international community to come together in a united front to combat climate change. They noted that achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) must be the central priority for the international community, as the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development provides the systemic and long-term set of social, economic and environmental solutions that the complexity of climate change requires. They underscored that socioeconomic challenges pose systemic risks for developing countries, which must be addressed for achieving the ultimate objective of the UNFCCC and the long-term goals of its Paris Agreement. They called for global solidarity in ensuring that no country, place nor individual is left behind. They reiterated that BASIC is willing and ready to genuinely contribute its best effort and cooperate with all countries in addressing the climate challenge.
5. To break inertia in climate action, Ministers agreed to strengthening BASIC leadership, by launching a new vision on cooperation among BASIC from COP28 to COP30 and beyond that encompasses: firstly, enhancing BASIC coordination on the international climate change agenda, with a focus on the multilateral climate regime under UNFCCC; secondly, leveraging their countries scientific and academic dialogue; and, thirdly, expanding joint action and cooperation on sustainable development implementation and projects.
6. Ministers highlighted that despite the enormous developmental challenges and pressures of poverty eradication at a time of global economic downturn and economic recovery, the BASIC countries continue to lead by example and will demonstrate their highest ambition on climate action, in the context of their overarching sustainable development imperatives:
is back on the international agenda in 2023, raising the fight against climate change as a priority for the Brazilian government, alongside efforts to combat hunger, poverty and inequality. Deeply committed to strengthening multilateralism, Brazil has offered to host the 30th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP30) in the Amazonian city of Belém. Also driven by the sense of urgency and gravity that the best available science warns us to, Brazil has offered to host the Amazon Summit, also in Belém, in August 2023. The "Belém Declaration" is the first ever political document to recognize the risk of the Amazon's tipping-point. Since President Lula took office, Brazil has committed itself to "zero deforestation," while relaunching the Amazon Fund and the Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Deforestation in the Legal Amazon (PPCDAm), as well as the Inter-ministerial Committee on Climate Change (CIM), which has decided to adjust Brazil's NDC to the absolute levels originally presented in 2015. Brazil's adjusted NDC will enhance the country's emissions reduction ambition from 37% to 48% by 2025, compared to 2005, and from 50% to 53% by 2030. In August 2023, the Brazilian government announced an economy-wide "Ecological Transformation Plan," which consolidates the country's vision for a future of economic growth, with social inclusion and environmental preservation. In the first eight months of the new government, deforestation fell by 48%, which means that this alone has prevented around 200 million tons of carbon from being emitted. While committed to the principle of CBDR-RC, Brazil is also clear about its equally differentiated responsibility towards the most vulnerable countries, and will stand up fully to its responsibilities.
is guided by its National Development Plan, in the context of efforts to address the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment, as well as by its national framework on Just Transition and specific strategies, legislation and regulations addressing climate adaptation and mitigation. South Africa is undertaking the development of a comprehensive Adaptation Investment Plan to identify priority measures for the implementation of its National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy. A dedicated oceans and coast adaptation plan has been developed, as well as an Adaptation sectoral plan and risk and vulnerability assessment of all district municipalities. The Just Energy Transition Investment Plan (JET-IP) has been refined and parliament is finalising its climate change bill. South Africa is currently implementing a number of climate change mitigation interventions to facilitate implementation of its Low Emission Development Strategy, including the allocation of sectoral emissions reduction targets. Intensive work is underway on policy reforms and improving energy security and access, with progress towards larger-scale deployment of renewable energy. The JET-IP outlines the enormous scale and nature of investments needed to achieve decarbonisation goals. According to the plan, South Africa will need the investment of approximately US$98 billion over the next five years to enable part of the just transition and achieve the ambitious targets it has set out in its NDC. It also includes investment in local production of green hydrogen and electric vehicles, and investing in local economies to develop skills and enable economic diversification. This partnership presents an opportunity to develop a new and innovative model for financial support for just transitions in developing countries.
displayed its spirit of multilateralism by calling upon G-20 nations to adopt a constructive attitude to fight climate change. India also urged that ambition for climate action must be matched with actions on climate finance and transfer of technology. This clarion call to nations was made with a vision of ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’ to foster stronger international cooperation in combating common global challenges such as climate change. India has overachieved one of its NDC commitments by already meeting 40% of its installed power capacity from non-fossil fuel based sources almost nine years ahead of its committed time. India is on track to achieve other NDC goals. India is now implementing the National Green Hydrogen Mission, with the target is to reach an annual production of 5 MMT by 2030. India continues to insist that global carbon budget for maintaining the temperature increase within levels mandated by the Paris Agreement is a finite resource to which all Parties should have equitable access. Since developed countries have used more than their fair share of the global carbon budget, they should take lead in undertaking ambitious climate actions, including mitigation of emissions, and provide means of implementation support to developing countries as mandated under the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement.
attaches great importance to addressing climate change, has formulated the 1+N policies and is committed to working actively and prudently toward the goals of reaching peak carbon emissions and carbon neutrality. China’s carbon intensity in 2021 was 50.8 percent less than that in 2005. China gives priority to the development of non-fossil energy. The total installed capacity of non-fossil energy power generation in China exceeded 1.4 billion kilowatts, counting for more than 51% of the total installed capacity amount. China provides 50% of the world's wind power equipment and 80% of the world's solar power generation equipment, making outstanding contributions to the reduction of global renewable energy costs. China has more than 16 million new-energy vehicles, counting for more than half of the worldwide amount. China launched the largest carbon market covering greenhouse gas emissions in the world. China has proactively adapted to climate change and has taken various measures to build up the carbon sink capacity of ecosystems, and achieved “double growth” in forest coverage and stock for the past 30 years. China has announced that it will strongly support the green and low-carbon development in developing countries by south-south cooperation and will stop building new coal-fired power projects overseas, demonstrating its concrete actions in response to climate change.
7. Ministers confirmed BASIC’s strong commitment and solidarity to all other developing countries, including by working closer together within the Group of 77 and China (G77+China). They reiterated their support for Cuba, as the current Chair of the G77+China, with a view to strengthening the unity of the group and advancing the common interests of all developing countries.
8. Ministers highlighted that the UNFCCC is the principal multilateral body for addressing climate change. Ministers pledged BASIC’s strong support to Brazil’s prospective presidency of COP30, in 2025, in the Amazon city of Belém do Pará. They also fully supported the United Arab Emirates Presidency of COP28, which will take place in Dubai, from 30 November to 12 December 2023. They underscored that the outcome of the first Global Stocktake (GST) at COP28 will be crucial to reinforce international cooperation and inform countries in updating and enhancing, in a nationally determined manner, their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). They look forward to presenting their second NDCs to the Paris Agreement by 2025, when COP30 will be held. They committed to working together to ensure that the UNFCCC multilateral process from COP28 to COP30 provides a platform to unite the international community around enhancing the implementation of the Convention and its Paris Agreement. They also underscored the importance of COP28 delivering an ambitious, equitable, pragmatic, comprehensive and balanced outcome, including the first GST, the operationalization of the new Loss and Damage Fund, progress on the deliberations on the New Collective Quantified Finance Goal, the adoption of a robust framework for the Global Goal on Adaptation, as well as the implementation of the Mitigation Ambition and Implementation Work Programme (MWP) and the adoption of the Work Programme on Just Transition Pathways. They highlighted all dimensions of COP28 should focus on addressing implementation gaps through enhanced means of implementation.
9. Ministers underscored the critical importance of creating an international enabling environment for unlocking enhanced global climate action, whilst empowering countries to present their most ambitious next round of NDCs and to demonstrate progression relative to their earlier NDCs, based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances. They further underscored the urgent need for a fundamental transformation and modernization of the global financial architecture, including a systematic reform of the multilateral development banks to make them fit-for-purpose in supporting sustainable development, ecological transformation, and just and equitable transitions. They recalled the necessity of addressing risk aversion in investing in developing countries, of prioritizing grant support, and of dramatically lowering the cost of capital in all developing countries, as current cost and conditionality on borrowing money makes multilateral support out of reach of the majority of the world’s population, including in BASIC countries.
10. Ministers urged developed countries to abide by the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities and to scale up climate actions for them to reach climate neutrality without further delay and provide new and additional, sustained, predictable, adequate and timely finance to developing countries. They recalled that needs of developing countries are in trillions of USD, and concessional finance is crucial to avoid fiscal distress among developing countries. They further urged developed countries to honor their unfulfilled climate finance obligations, including delivering on the goal of jointly mobilizing USD 100 billion per year urgently by 2020 and through to 2025, at least doubling their collective provision of climate finance for adaptation to developing countries from 2019 levels by 2025, and putting forward a clear roadmap as early as possible, whilst committing to a new collective quantified goal that goes well beyond the floor of USD 100 billion per year and providing finance for the Loss and Damage funding arrangements and Fund. They recall the reports showing that trillions of USD are needed annually by developing countries for mitigation and adaptation actions and that an estimated two trillion dollars flow out of developing countries to feed development in the developed countries each year, due to factors such as unfair and exploitative terms of trade and historical and current dependency on the export of un-beneficiated raw materials. The Ministers also noted with concern that there has been a significant increase in the production and consumption of fossil fuels by developed countries in recent years, and encouraged them to take the lead in phasing-out their own fossil fuel production and consumption, in an accelerated manner.
11. Ministers expressed their strong rejection of unilateral and coercive measures that constitute a disguised restriction on international trade, and called on all partners to strive for cooperative solutions and partnerships for stimulating the production and trade access for sustainable goods and services. Ministers recognized existing efforts and partial results towards decarbonization by developed countries at the domestic level. They underscored, nevertheless, that at the international level selective, insufficient, and often ineffective action by developed countries has undermined confidence and, consequently, speed and scale in collective action for the decarbonization recommended by science, which points out to all of us the need for greater commitments and effective implementation. They highlighted we need to break the inertia of the results already obtained in order to leverage the results that are necessary.
12. Determined to building trust among all countries, BASIC Ministers committed to broadening, deepening and diversifying their joint efforts towards a strengthened and effective global governance for the implementation of the principles and goals enshrined under the UNFCCC, its Kyoto Protocol and its Paris Agreement. They expressed their firm commitment to contributing to an international environment that is conducive to sustainable development and to inclusive and equitable global decision-making processes that are effectively representative of humanity’s collective intelligence and development aspirations, with a view to shared prosperity.
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