NGOs welcome BASIC stance on climate change

January 24th, 2010 - 11:34 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 24 (IANS) International NGOs Sunday welcomed the decision of Brazil, South Africa, India and China (BASIC countries) to support the Copenhagen Accord but to have the agreement as part of a legally binding global treaty to combat climate change that would be negotiated by all countries.
“Greenpeace welcomes the position taken by the ministers of the BASIC group that met today (Sunday) in New Delhi to continue negotiations on a fair and ambitious climate agreement within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change,” said Siddharth Pathak, Greenpeace India’s climate and energy policy officer.

“However, Greenpeace wants to insist to the BASIC countries that such an agreement also needs to be legally binding in order to ensure its implementation,” he added.

“Greenpeace is encouraged by the willingness of the BASIC group to support vulnerable countries, both by ensuring their participation in open and transparent negotiations and by providing technological and or financial support,” Pathak said.

Greenpeace, he added, “calls upon the BASIC countries to make this support more tangible by its next meeting in April.”

The NGO called upon BASIC countries “to ensure they take the responsibility that comes along with the renewed power from their alliance. Greenpeace expects these countries to demonstrate leadership, both in furthering negotiations on a fair, ambitious and legally binding agreement, and in terms of both pushing industrialized counties to urgently reduce greenhouse gas emissions and making their own appropriate contributions in emission reductions, in order to avoid dangerous climate change.”

The India chapter of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) also welcomed the move by BASIC countries. The head of its climate unit Shirish Sinha said: “WWF welcomes the early lead on continuing climate negotiations and the level of commitment shown by the BASIC group of countries to a fair and effective UN-based outcome to climate change this year.”

“It is highly encouraging that these key emerging economies intend to further outline their voluntary mitigation actions by January 31, and that they now declare an intention of taking climate action together in areas like technology, adaptation and research.”

Kim Carstensen, leader of WWF global climate initiative, said: “This presents a good challenge to developed countries, who must also announce of carbon emission reduction targets, and who must also live up to their promises of providing financial support to the vulnerable countries.”

“WWF will watch them closely to see whether their commitments actually match their assertions in Copenhagen that they are committed to keep the world below the level where the risk of climate catastrophe becomes unacceptable,” Carstensen said.

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