BASIC Ministerial joint statement at the UNFCCC’s Sharm el-Sheikh Climate Change Conference (COP27/CMP17/CMA4)

15 November 2022, Sharm el-Sheikh, Arab Republic of Egypt.

1. Ministers of Brazil, South Africa, India and China representing the BASIC Group met on 15 November 2022 at the 27th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 27) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. The meeting was chaired by H.E. Ms. Barbara Creecy, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment of the Republic of South Africa, and attended by H.E. Mr. Joaquim Leite, Minister for the Environment of Brazil, H.E. Mr. Bhupender Yadav, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change of the Republic of India and H.E. Mr. XIE Zhenhua, China Special Envoy for Climate Change and H.E. Mr. ZHAO Yingmin, Vice Minister, Ministry of Ecology and Environment of People’s Republic of China.

2. Ministers pledged their full support to the Egyptian COP27 Presidency for a successful conference, which should deliver an ambitious, equitable and balanced outcome, including substantial progress towards the establishment of a finance mechanism for Loss and Damage, the New Collective Quantified Finance Goal and operationalisation of the Global Goal on Adaptation, as well as completion of the Work Programme on Mitigation. The introduction of a dedicated agenda item on a funding arrangement for Loss and Damage, at the initiative of developing counties, is a welcome development. Above all, COP27 should promote equity and justice by recognizing the fundamental equality of all people and their inalienable human right to pursue economic growth and sustainable development, including the achievement of the SDGs by 2030 and ensuring and enabling just and equitable transition of developing countries. 

3. 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 from the front on climate change actions, in the context of their overarching sustainable development imperatives. The ambitious nationally determined contributions goals announced by BASIC at COP26 last year are already being implemented, attesting to the sense of urgency and seriousness with which BASIC countries tackle climate change. The following additional and progressive actions have been taken by BASIC countries since COP26:

Brazil increased its mitigation ambition, in 2022, with a new target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030, based on 2005 levels. Brazil announced strategic measures for its 2050 climate neutrality commitment, including zero illegal deforestation by 2028, restoring and reforesting 18 million hectares of forests by 2030, as well as encouraging the expansion of the national rail network. Brazil also announced the creation of the National Program for the reduction of Methane Emissions – Zero Methane, which will be responsible for generating economic resources through the reduction of methane emissions in the country. Brazil has also implemented a set of policies and incentives to increase investments in renewable energy, particularly wind power and green hydrogen in offshore areas, reaffirming the country’s long-term commitment to an affordable energy transition.

South Africa is guided by a national framework on Just Transition and an Investment Plan that outlines the enormous scale and nature of investments needed to achieve its decarbonisation goals over the next five years. South Africa has submitted a Climate Change bill before its parliament and commenced implementation of its national Adaptation Strategy.

India is now the world’s fifth largest economy and moves forward with a vision of ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’ to foster stronger international cooperation in tackling shared global challenges like climate change. India has launched Mission LIFE (Lifestyle for Environment) to create a global mass movement for sustainable lifestyles and a paradigm shift from mindless and destructive consumption to mindful and deliberate utilization. Mission LIFE has a focus on encouraging individual choices and actions that support sustainability and create a world of ‘pro-planet people’. At COP27 India submitted its Long-Term Low-Carbon Development Strategy towards net-zero by 2070. India also submitted its updated and enhanced NDC in August 2022. India has achieved its initial NDC target in installed power capacity from non-fossil sources, nine years ahead of schedule. India now has the world’s 4th largest installed capacity of renewable energy. As per the updated NDC, India will reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 45 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels and achieve about 50 percent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil sources by 2030. India is addressing energy-related carbon emissions in its growing transport sector and aims at enhanced electric passenger vehicle sales by 2030; 20% ethanol blending in petrol by 2025; and rapid progress towards 100% rail electrification and net-zero railways. India has also launched a National Hydrogen Mission. To promote domestic manufacturing and self-reliance in key green sectors, India has announced production linked incentives for high efficiency solar PV modules and advanced storage technologies. To drive initiatives for environment, sustainability and climate action, India has announced the issue of sovereign Green Bonds and promotion of thematic funds for blended finance.

China updated its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) targets in 2020 as per the requirement to “reflect its highest possible ambition” under the terms of the Paris Agreement. As a developing country, China has made its utmost effort in response to climate change based on its development stage and national conditions. China is leading a Comprehensive Green Transformation of Economy and Society with Carbon Dioxide Peaking and Carbon Neutrality, including making the plans on key fields, industries and sectors, and has achieved substantial progress and outcomes, in 2021, China’s carbon intensity dropped by 3.8% and 50.8 percent from the level respectively in 2020 and 2005, non-fossil energies accounted for 16.6 percent of energy consumption, non-fossil energy power generation capacity reached 1,120 GW accounting for more than 30% of the global total capacity. China provides around 50% of the global wind power equipment and 80% of the global solar power generation equipment, making an outstanding contribution to the reduction of worldwide renewable energy costs. China has promoted new-energy vehicles vigorously, with a quantity of more than 10 million, accounting for more than 50% of the global quantity. A unified national carbon trading market officially started online trading in 2021. China ratified the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol and made new progress in controlling greenhouse gas emissions in key areas. By the end of 2021, the national forest coverage rate in China reached 24.02 percent with a forest stock of 19,493 billion m3. China has drafted methane action plan, and will control methane emission in addition to its NDC. These reflect China’s substantial contributions to global mitigation.

4. Ministers welcomed the key political messaging from the COP27 Climate Implementation Summit, including the need for enabling means of implementation support for developing countries at a time when the Paris Agreement is being implemented in accordance with the best available science and on the basis of equity and the principle of common but different responsibilities and respective capabilities, in light of national circumstances. Developing countries require predictable and appropriate support, including climate finance at the necessary scope, scale and speed and access to technology and markets to ensure and enable their sustainable development.

5. In this regard, Ministers underscored the urgent need for a fundamental transformation and modernisation of the global financial architecture, including a systematic reform of the multilateral development banks to make them fit-for-purpose in supporting sustainable development and just and equitable transitions. The key is to address risk aversion in investing in developing countries, to prioritise grant support and to dramatically lower the cost and conditionality on borrowing money that places multilateral support out of reach of the majority of the world’s population, including in BASIC countries.

6. BASIC countries are gravely concerned that developed countries are still not showing leadership or responding with a matching progression of effort. There has been backtracking on finance and mitigation commitments and pledges by developed countries. There has also been a significant increase in the consumption and production of fossil fuels in the past year by developed countries, even as they continue to press developing countries to move away from the same resources. Such double standards are incompatible with climate equity and justice.

7. Ministers are concerned that climate finance provided by developed countries continues to fall short of the USD 100 billion per year commitment, as it has every year since the goal was set in 2009, and despite the deep regret expressed at COP26 last year. This is despite the USD 100 billion being only a tiny fraction of the financing which will be necessary for an economy-wide transformation and to meet the needs and priorities of developing countries. Developing countries, and especially the BASIC countries, have to channel many times this amount of financing from their domestic resources or from commercial loans and developing countries cannot afford to transform their economies without assistance. Finance to developing countries is also increasingly with unilateral conditionalities and eligibility criteria, predominantly in the form of loans rather than grants, aggravating the financial constraints faced by developing countries. Many of the pledges to the Adaptation Fund made at COP26 remain unfilled, delivering on the commitment to double adaptation financing remains unclear and there are significant outstanding contributions by developed countries to the Green Climate Fund. Adaptation financing needs to be impact based. The new collective quantified goal by developed countries must therefore go beyond the floor of USD 100 billion per year, be significantly public funded with greater transparency and predictability, provide incentives to enhance access modalities, be periodically reviewed, and take a balanced approach towards mitigation and adaptation in light of evolving needs and priorities of developing countries. For this a clear roadmap for deliberations in 2023, including on discussions on possible timeframes, should be adopted at COP27.

8. Ministers expressed concern that adaptation is still not being accorded the balanced and substantive attention they deserve in the UNFCCC process, despite the opportunities and linkages with loss and damage. It is essential to maintain a systematic and continued process to work on the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA), with a view to fully operationalising the GGA. They underscored the necessity for a special report on GGA to be produced by the IPCC to help deepen global understanding on defining and achieving the GGA. We also recognise that adaptation actions taken at the local level have an important global contribution.

9. Minsters emphasised that the Mitigation Work Programme shall be guided by the objectives, goals and principles of the Convention and its Paris Agreement, being facilitative, non-prescriptive, nationally determined in nature, and aim at promoting exchange of best practices, exploring opportunities, and identifying challenges on implementation of their respective NDCs. The Mitigation Work Programme shall not result in an alteration of the goals as set out in the Paris Agreement, imposing sectoral targets and benchmarks, or duplication with arrangements regarding mitigation.

10. Ministers emphasized that trust amongst Parties is central to the success of the multilateral process and that climate change can only be successfully addressed through a collective multilateral response. There needs to be a definitive account of the Pre-2020 period through the Second Periodic Review, assessing its achievements, progresses and gaps, as this will provide the equity basis towards achieving the long-term global goals of the Convention and its Paris Agreement. Developed countries must honour their Pre-2020 commitments regarding mitigation, adaptation and means of implementation and support provided, without transferring any burden and responsibility to developing countries. Developed countries are required to take immediate actions to close the Pre-2020 implementation gaps.

11. Ministers welcome the COP26 decision on market and non-market mechanisms under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement and the follow up work undertaken at COP27. BASIC countries encourage the public and the private sectors to make use of arrangements that provide a share of proceeds to the Adaptation Fund, to secure predictable resources. Unilateral measures and discriminatory practices, such as carbon border taxes, that could result in market distortion and aggravate the trust deficit amongst Parties, must be avoided. BASIC countries call for a united solidarity response by developing countries to any unfair shifting of responsibilities from developed to developing countries.

12. Ministers underscored the need for enhancing adequate, predictable and timely technical and financial support for developing countries to participate effectively in the Enhanced Transparency Framework, including establishing a long-term workplan to support developing countries under the UNFCCC. This includes the establishment and enhancement of reporting systems within the national governments of developing countries. They further emphasized that developed countries need to further enhance the transparency of climate finance.

13. BASIC Ministers reiterated their support for Pakistan, as the current 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.