Russia backs green initiative
Updated: 2011-04-15 07:55
By Fu Jing (China Daily)
BRUSSELS - Russia has repeated its support of the efforts by the bloc of developing countries known as BASIC -- Brazil, South Africa, India and China -- to push forward global climate change negotiations and sustainable development.
The commitment was expressed in the Sanya Declaration released on Thursday by leaders of the five countries.
A decorative sign for the BRICS summit stands outside the Sheraton Hotel, venue for the third BRICS summit of developing economies in Sanya, Hainan province, on Thursday. [Photo/Agencies]
The countries vowed to support the Durban climate change conference in South Africa this December and another two global conferences on sustainable development and biodiversity to be held in Brazil and India in 2012.
Russia expressed its support at two previous summits, though it holds a different line on climate change than the BASIC countries.
A senior Chinese climate diplomat from the National Development and Reform Commission said the meeting will be held in Durban, South Africa, in May before the UN holds its mid-year negotiations in Bonn, Germany, in mid-June.
"The bloc has already formed a coordination mechanism to meet prior to important global negotiations and conferences on climate change," said the diplomat, who declined to be named.
Dennis Pamlin, director of the Low Carbon Leaders Project, said the BASIC bloc has set an excellent example of a "united line" to push forward global climate negotiations, but it needs to expand to an even more open platform to engage other developing countries.
Pamlin said the leaders at the Sanya summit have not only expressed a desire to put more pressure on developed countries to abide by their binding responsibilities of greenhouse gas reduction, but also offered more ideas to cut carbon density in developing economies.
The ministers of BASIC countries will hold their seventh meeting in South Africa in May. It is expected that one or two meetings of the ministers will be organized before the global Durban climate change conference.
Pamlin said as the global negotiations now move away from the old Kyoto discussions to a discussion about the need to create an almost carbon-free world economy in less than 40 years, there is a need to focus on the countries that will change the most during this time.
"So the BASIC bloc should not be seen as a fixed structure as other countries, such as Mexico, Indonesia and South Korea, Nigeria and Egypt are all likely to play a very important role as we move towards 2050," said Pamlin.
However, the four countries have been faced with an "interesting challenge" to include Russia in the group as Russia has not played a very constructive role in the climate negotiations and has focused more on securing its role as a fossil fuel exporter.
"An innovation-promotion working group would be a good way for BASIC to include countries like Russia," Pamlin has suggested.
He suggested that the BASIC bloc should strengthen links to other G77 countries, especially the most vulnerable and poor, less developing countries.
Meanwhile, the BASIC bloc should invite companies from around the world to form an alliance and help develop a policy framework that can create jobs, improve innovation, reduce poverty, ensure food security and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, he said.
"Today too much focus is on the big polluters and how they can reduce their emissions on the margin. Now is the time to support the next generation of companies that can provide sustainable solutions for everyone on the planet, not just the rich," Pamlin said.
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