Lead fight against climate change, Greenpeace urges BASIC countries


New Delhi: Four days before environment ministers of BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India, China) countries meet here to chalk out their post-Copenhagen climate strategy, international NGO Greenpeace has urged them to find a solution to the global warming crisis.

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Reminding the ministers that the four countries together account for 11 percent of the world’s GDP and 30 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, Siddharth Pathak, policy officer climate and energy of Greenpeace India, said here Wednesday: “The BASIC countries have to live up to the international roles they must play in addressing climate change, the biggest threat facing humanity today.”

Pathak urged the four countries “not to behave as the US and other developed nations have in the recent past, facing the problem simply from their own national perspectives.”

Themba Linden, political analyst from Greenpeace Africa, said in a statement: “The BASIC countries have to lead the world in light of no leadership from developed world to achieve a legally binding agreement that takes into account the consequences of global warming to developing countries, especially the most vulnerable.”

“China, India, Brazil and South Africa have to join forces to move the work forward on agreeing a fair, ambitious and legally binding climate change deal at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s next meeting in Mexico,” said Ailun Yang, climate and energy manager from Greenpeace China.

“The Copenhagen Accord, a text negotiated by the BASIC group and the US, is insufficient and will not deliver the necessary measures to tackle climate change.”

The national emission reduction targets and other mitigation actions, individually and voluntarily declared by countries in Copenhagen are a clear display of lack of ambition and political will and puts the world on a path to climate disaster, a Greenpeace spokesperson said.

“A confidential note from the UNFCCC secretariat shows that if they were followed, the average global temperatures would rise above three degrees celsius – much higher than the safe limit established by science,” the spokesperson pointed out.

“The BASIC group, as a new power, must ensure that vulnerable countries are not negatively affected by their actions or excluded from the negotiation process. They also need to scale up their domestic mitigation targets and think about contributing finance and technology for adaptation and mitigation actions on climate change in other developing nations,” said Marcelo Furtado, Greenpeace Brazil’s executive director.

“This is the only way for China, South Africa, India and Brazil to break the deadlock that is preventing the planet from standing up to the climate crisis.”