South African Government

Let's grow South Africa together

Joint Statement issued at the conclusion of the 30th BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change hosted by India on 8th April 2021

8 Apr 2021

1. The 30th BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change was organized virtually on 7-8 April 2021. The meeting was chaired by H.E. Mr. Prakash Javadekar, Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change of the Republic of India and attended by H.E. Mr. Ricardo Salles, Minister of the Environment of Brazil, H.E. Mr. HUANG Runqiu, Minister, Ministry of Ecology and Environment of People's Republic of China, H.E. Mr. XIE Zhenhua, China Special Envoy for Climate Change, and H.E. Ms. Barbara Creecy, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment of the Republic of South Africa.

2. Ministers pledged their full support to the Chilean Presidency of COP 25 and incoming United Kingdom Presidency of COP 26 for a successful outcome in Glasgow. Ministers appreciated the efforts made by the Presidency and Secretariat to advance informal consultations virtually considering the difficulties of having in-person sessions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. They reiterated the need to organize work in a manner that upholds the principles of inclusivity, transparency, and effective participation so that the negotiated outcome is one that is Party-driven, and consensus-based. They committed to working with all other Parties for the success of COP 26 in an open, transparent, consensus-based and party-driven manner, and emphasized the importance of providing additional support to developing countries to participate in any virtual meetings, to overcome technical and other challenges experienced by developing country negotiators and Ministers to virtual participation and group co-ordination.

3. Ministers emphasized that notwithstanding the devastating social and economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and multiple development challenges that all BASIC countries face, the BASIC countries are implementing ambitious climate actions based on their national circumstances and have achieved great progress, contributing significantly to global efforts in combating climate change. BASIC countries have already set forth climate policies and contributions reflecting their highest possible ambition, and are fully committed to taking ambitious actions to implement their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Brazil presented its new updated NDC to the UNFCCC on 8th December 2020. The updated NDC reaffirms the country’s commitment to reducing total net greenhouse gas emissions by 37 percent in 2025 and officially takes on the commitment to reducing Brazilian emissions by 43 percent in 2030 below 2005 levels. Brazil’s NDC also expresses the indicative objective of achieving climate neutrality (net-zero emissions) in 2060. The percentage of renewable energy in the Brazilian electricity and energy matrix is on an upward trend, having reached the mark of 83 percent and 46.1 percent, respectively of renewable sources over the last two years. China aims to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. For 2030, China will lower its carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by over 65 percent from the 2005 level, increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 25 percent, increase the forest stock volume by 6 billion cubic meters from the 2005 level, and bring its total installed capacity of wind and solar power to over 1.2 billion kilowatts. China has significantly exceeded its climate targets by 2020, with carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP reduced by 48.4 percent from the 2005 level, the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption increased to 15.9 percent. India has made rapid strides in decoupling its economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions. India has already achieved its pre-2020 voluntary target with a reduction of 24 percent in emission intensity of GDP in 2016 as compared to 2005 levels. India is implementing one of the largest renewable energy expansion programmes with a target of achieving 175 GigaWatts renewable energy capacity by 2022 and 450 GigaWatts by 2030. Installed capacity of solar energy in India has increased by more than 14 times between 2014 to 2020. In 2021, India announced a National Hydrogen Energy Mission for generation of hydrogen from green power sources. India’s forest and tree cover sequestered around 15 percent of total CO2 emissions in 2016. Since 2015, South Africa has made significant progress in implementing its response to climate change. Last year the South African low emissions development strategy was communicated to the UNFCCC. South Africa is currently exploring possible pathways to achieve this. The country’s NDC is currently being updated, significantly enhancing both mitigation and adaptation ambition. The 2030 NDC mitigation target will be reduced by a proposed 28 percent compared to the current target, and the NDC will also contain South Africa’s first adaptation communication. South Africa’s National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy has recently been finalized, co-ordinating adaptation actions at all levels of government. A comprehensive legal framework is currently being finalized for climate change, which includes the recent establishment of the Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission, to plan and oversee the country’s just transition. In terms of mitigation, South Africa has launched a massive investment programme in renewable energy over the next decade contained in its 2019 Integrated Resource Plan, and has launched the fifth bid window of its renewable energy procurement programme. The national electricity utility Eskom has committed to net zero emissions by 2050. The national energy efficiency strategy has established new goals for 2030, a carbon tax was introduced in 2019, and a Green

Transport Strategy and a National Waste Management strategy will reduce emissions in these sectors.

4. Ministers underscored that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is the centre of the collective, multilateral response to the climate crisis and called for the faithful, balanced and comprehensive implementation of the Convention and its Paris Agreement, in accordance with its goals and principles, in particular equity, common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR-RC), in the light of different national circumstances, as well as the progressive and nationally determined nature of contributions to the Paris Agreement.

5. Ministers emphasized that global climate action should promote climate justice by recognizing the fundamental equality of all people in accessing economic growth and sustainable development. Recognizing differing capacities and historical responsibilities between developed countries and developing countries, the Ministers underscored that BASIC and other developing countries require time and policy space to achieve a Just Transition of their economies. The BASIC Ministers, acknowledging that the Paris Agreement embodies the call for a comprehensive approach which covers everything including education, sustainable lifestyles and consumption patterns and development philosophy, reaffirmed and emphasized the need for people’s participation to bring behavioural change and climate friendly lifestyles for addressing the challenge of climate change, based on science.

6. Ministers underlined their commitment to taking ambitious actions to implement their NDCs. They stressed that action and support are integral in terms of ambition, and the ambition of support by developed countries should match the ambition of action by developing countries.

7. Ministers highlighted that the key outcomes of COP 26 would be to conclude negotiations on Article 6, launch the operationalization of the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA), and achieve progress on climate finance which is one of the key enablers for developing countries to implement ambitious climate actions.

8. Ministers emphasized the necessity for the Glasgow Climate Change Conference to deliver a breakthrough on financing for developing countries, noting that finance is the key enabler of enhanced ambition and climate action, particularly at a time when developing countries are facing multiple developmental challenges and the devastating impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Developed countries shall provide new and additional, sustained, predictable, adequate and timely finance, technology development and transfer and capacity- building support to developing countries with a significant public funded component, with less conditionality and more reasonable co-financing requirements, open markets and carry out practical technological cooperation, which will serve as the basis for mutual trust and for the comprehensive and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement. Such support must not exacerbate the existing debt crisis confronting many developing countries.

9. The Ministers expressed their deep concern on the insufficiency and inadequacy of the support provided by developed countries to date. The scale and speed of climate finance from developed countries has to increase considerably. Ministers urged developed countries to present at COP 26 a clear roadmap on their continued existing obligations to mobilize USD 100 billion per year from 2021 to 2025, and to urgently initiate the process within the UNFCCC on setting the new collective quantified goal on finance as soon as possible, including a detailed roadmap outlining milestones for setting a goal prior to 2025. The new collective quantified goal must be from a floor of USD 100 billion per year, as agreed in Paris, significantly publicly funded and of greater transparency. The 2021 deliberations should draw lessons from the experience of meeting the USD 100 billion pledge, be informed by the needs and priorities of developing countries and be adequate to meet the ambition of action of developing countries. In this regard, they stressed the importance of establishing a structured deliberation within the UNFCCC, to conclude this work in a meaningful and timely manner. Also, with respect to climate finance, during the COP 26, a positive movement is required on the issues of: a multilaterally agreed definition of climate finance and the related methodologies for accounting, an assessment by the UNFCCC of the commitment made by the developed countries to mobilize USD 100 billion per year by 2020 and continuation of the long-term finance under the aegis of UNFCCC.

10. BASIC countries reiterated that adaptation is central to the Paris Agreement and highlighted that developing countries are contributing significant domestic resources to adapting to the reality of an already changing climate. Hence it is important to secure progress on adaptation at COP 26, including via the recognition of adaptation efforts by developing countries. They called for the operationalization of the GGA and for greater balance between adaptation and mitigation both in UNFCCC outcomes and in support through the financial mechanism of the UNFCCC and from international financing in general. The ministers further called for the launch of the negotiating track within the subsidiary bodies focusing on adaptation to provide guidance for the operationalization of the GGA.

11. Ministers underscored the Kyoto Protocol as the significant milestone in the multilateral climate process. Ministers welcomed the entry into force of the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol albeit just one day before it was due to expire. They reiterated that ambition of Parties is measured also by the implementation of their prior commitments under the UNFCCC. Commitments made by developed countries in the pre-2020 period must be honoured even as we have moved into the post-2020 era. The substantial gaps in mitigation, adaptation and support provided by developed countries to developing countries in the pre-2020 period must be counterbalanced by ambitious climate change action by developed countries in the post-2020 period. They urged developed countries to revisit their targets on mitigation under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol, and fulfill their commitments of providing support to developing countries.

12. Ministers highlighted that providing information on transparency of support, including its predictability, is a key component of the Enhanced Transparency Framework. In this regard, Ministers urged developed countries to engage in discussion in a positive and constructive manner to formulate clear guidance (including for reporting tables) for the biennial communication referred to in Article 9.5, and the tables to report information on support provided. They also look forward to finalizing, with all the agreed flexibilities, GHG inventory tables, a structured summary that can accommodate diverse types of NDCs, report outlines and the relevant training programmes. They emphasized that for developing countries to be able to implement the Enhanced Transparency Framework, the outcome at COP 26 must include appropriate support for reporting and the necessary capacity-building support, including finalizing the terms of reference for the Consultative Group of Experts, and a roadmap for the provision of support to developing countries for reporting under the Paris Agreement. Ministers acknowledged that Rule 16 was applied during Subsidiary Body (SB) 51 for this agenda item, and that consequently no formal outcomes shall be produced before SB 52.

13. They highlighted that a key outcome of COP 26 will be to conclude negotiations on Article 6, which is an essential element to achieve progress towards predictable and at-scale adaptation finance. Ministers underscored the importance of concluding the discussions on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, in accordance with the mandates and principles set out in the Agreement and decision 1/CP.21, including ensuring environmental integrity and transparency, including in governance, and exploring accounting methods aiming at avoiding double counting. Accounting rules should encompass the full diversity of NDC types. They restated that decisions on other subjects should not pre-empt discussions under Article 6, and the issues should be addressed in a balanced and inclusive manner.

14. Ministers expressed that the rules and governance structures for cooperative approaches under Article 6.2 should be multilaterally agreed and applicable to all Parties and should ensure that all transactions are based on actual mitigation efforts, consistent with Article 2. A robust accounting system should be put in place, which should have the flexibility to accommodate different types of NDCs and a central log to register all transactions. They emphasized that it is critical to dedicate a share of proceeds from Internationally Transferred Mitigation Outcomes (ITMO) transactions under Article 6.2 at the same level as under Article 6.4 to fund adaptation in developing countries.

15. Ministers stated that the design of the mechanism under Article 6.4 should be conducive to public and private sector involvement and avoid the creation of unnecessary obstacles to investment, provided that environmental integrity is ensured. Accounting approaches, including, but not limited to, applying corresponding adjustments and other possible means should be explored to this end. A solid governance structure, based on the centralized nature of the roles to be performed by the Supervisory Body and on a common set of rules that ensures predictability and transparency is of the utmost importance to ensure environmental integrity and the avoidance of unilateral discriminatory practices. Under no circumstances is the nationally determined nature of commitments and the bottom-up hybrid character to be changed. They also stated that the ability of the climate change regime to ensure a smooth transition of the Clean Development Mechanism to the mechanism under Article 6.4 will be key to securing continued engagement of the public and private sectors in mitigation action. Ministers also considered the need for having enough time allotted to the items required under the CMP to enable early action and avoid unnecessary gaps.

16. Ministers noted that the Structured Expert Dialogue is an important tool for exchange of views between policy makers and experts on the full scope of climate change aspects, including mitigation, adaptation, and finance, technology transfer and capacity building support to developing countries, and can’t be mitigation centric. They highlighted the importance of balanced approach on selection of experts from developed and developing countries, and also focused approach on selection of representatives of international organizations that work on mitigation, adaptation and climate support, while ensuring the outcome being prepared in a balanced and focused manner. They emphasized the necessity of understanding climate change in a comprehensive way including equity, historical responsibility, future pathways, progress of fulfilling pledges, support to be and been provided to developing countries. They noted that preparations for the first global stock-take under Article 14 will include guiding questions, and expressed the view that all long-term goals of the Paris Agreement – temperature, mitigation, adaptation and finance – must be central to the Global Stocktake (GST). They also reminded all Parties that in addition to the thematic areas, loss and damage and response measures are to be addressed, as well as equity in a cross-cutting manner. Ministers were of the view that the list of inputs agreed in decision 19/CMA.1 are comprehensive, and no further additions were needed. BASIC countries will work within the Group of 77 and China to nominate a co-facilitator for the technical dialogue under the GST. They requested the SB Chairs and incoming COP Presidency to keep them apprised of any informal consultations. BASIC countries look forward to engaging constructively with all Parties in the Joint Contact Group.

17. Ministers reiterated that the UNFCCC process remains the pre-eminent international forum for addressing matters related to climate change, and other fora serve in a contributory supplementary role, under the guidance of the COP and the provisions and principles of the UNFCCC. Ministers noted the work of International Maritime Organization (IMO) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on reduction of GHG emissions, and underlined that the work being undertaken must comply with the key principles of the UNFCCC process, in particular the principles of Equity and CBDR-RC, in light of different national circumstances.

18. Ministers expressed their support to China for hosting a successful Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP 15, and for negotiations under the CBD on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. Ministers also underlined in this regard that other international fora, such as the G7, G20, the CBD and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) should not be used to pre-emptively negotiate issues within the purview of the UNFCCC. Ministers stressed that the UNFCCC, CBD and UNCCD constitute separate international environmental fora with different mandates, the integrity of which must be respected. In this regard, Ministers stressed that discussions on the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity, which are of such great international importance, should not be used to undermine the principle of CBDR-RC, by disproportionately shifting the burden of climate action onto the shoulders of developing countries and minimizing the responsibility of developed countries for reducing emissions.

19. Ministers expressed grave concern regarding the proposal for introducing trade barriers, such as unilateral carbon border adjustment, that are discriminatory and against the principles of Equity and CBDR-RC.

20. Ministers reiterated their unequivocal commitment to support Guinea as the Chair of the Group of 77 and China, with a view to strengthening the unity of the Group of 77 and China and advancing the common interests of developing countries.

21. Ministers welcomed the offer of South Africa to host the 31st BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change in 2022.


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