BASIC members to hold key strategy session

This is the second ministerial meeting among BASIC group comprising India, South Africa, Brazil and China primarily to discuss the fate of Kyoto Protocol and ways to break the deadlock with the developed countries which are seeking a new emission binding pact to include emerging economies as well.

The first was held in January this year after Copenhagen meet in December last where they helped in framing a climate accord after last-minute brokering with the US.

With developed nations reluctant to continue with the Kyoto Protocol which expires in 2012, the meet will discuss questions like "how long the Kyoto Protocol will survive, whether a shorter second commitment period designed solely to secure carbon markets could be envisaged, and what would replace the Kyoto if there were no second commitment."

The Kyoto Protocol seeks binding emission cut targets for industrialised nations while developing countries like China and India have to take voluntary actions to tackle climate change.

Though the four nations are yet to indicate their position, the agenda reflects the BASIC group's readiness for "some flexibility" on climate change, sources noted.

At the Copenhagen meet, they had clearly maintained that whatever be the nature of the talks in the post-Copenhagen period, those negotiations must be in accordance with the Bali Action Plan (BAP) mandate.

Also that the Kyoto Protocol is a legally valid instrument that must remain effective and operative as the negotiations are taken beyond the Copenhagen talks.

The meet in the South African town would also reflect on developments in February, March and April and chalk out BASIC's strategy for the forthcoming meetings of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change and other strategic meetings such as the major economies forum (MEF).

The Copenhagen Accord which is non-binding calls for reducing emissions to keep temperatures from rising more than 2 degree celsius (3.6 degree farenfeit) above pre-industrial levels.

The agreement also calls on rich nations to spend billions to help poor nations develop clean energy and deal with drought and other impacts of climate change.

The member nations under the platform of United Nations will meet at Cancun in Mexico this December to chalk out a new climate treaty to be acceptable to all.

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