7 December 2011
While the Durban climate summit may not be able to produce a legally binding second commitment to the Kyoto Protocol, developed countries need to give guarantees that they will sign for a new commitment period post-2012.
This was the view expressed at COP 17 on Tuesday by the BASIC countries, an informal negotiating group comprising Brazil, South Africa, India and China.
The 17th Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), currently taking place in Durban, is also the 7th meeting of parties to the Kyoto Protocol, which is due to expire at the end of 2012, unless renewed.
The BASIC group is negotiating a common goal at the talks, and wants to see an outcome that will further benefit developing countries using the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.
Although not formally recognised by the UN, the bloc was formed in November 2009 to act jointly at the Copenhagen climate change summit.
“We are in favour of a legally binding instrument but, most importantly, we need to have an important response plan post-2020, and that starts with the Kyoto Protocol,” said the director of environment in Brazil’s Ministry of External Affairs, Luiz Alberto Figueiredo.
He said the group demanded to know what the international climate response plan would be after 2020, when voluntary emission reductions ended.
South Africa’s Environment Minister, Edna Molewa, said: “We urge all countries to honour their commitments. There must be compromises with the knowledge that the outcome may not satisfy all of us.”
It was also important that all the Cancun agreements were operationalised after the Durban conference to allow some form of progress moving to COP 18 in Qatar next year, Molewa said.