Let principle of common and differentiated responsibility be respected: Environment Minister

Bhupender Yadav articulates view of Brazil, South Africa, India and China

November 01, 2021 06:05 pm | Updated 06:14 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson greets India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi as they arrive to attend the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland on November 1, 2021

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson greets India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi as they arrive to attend the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland on November 1, 2021

On the opening day of the 26th United Nations Conference of Parties (COP), Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav delivered a statement on behalf of the BASIC group of countries — Brazil, South Africa, India and China — at the U.N. Climate Change Conference under way in Glasgow.

These major developing economies are significant polluters but bear diminished responsibility for the carbon dioxide that has been pumped into the atmosphere since 1850 and also have low per capita emissions because of their significant populations. These countries have therefore for many years sought to rebuff pressure from developed countries to take on firmer emission reductions.

Also Read:CoP26 | The race to tackle global warming

Mr. Yadav said a key demand of the BASIC was that the Paris Agreement Rulebook be concluded at COP26. While the Paris Agreement laid out the framework for international action, the Rulebook will set this Agreement in motion by laying out the tools and processes to enable it is implemented fairly and properly. Countries had agreed to develop and finalise the Paris Rulebook at COP24 in Poland in 2018.

“In doing so, full effect must be given to implementation of the principles of Equity and Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC) and, recognition of the very different national circumstances of Parties,” Mr. Yadav said in his written statement and underlined that developing countries must be accorded time, policy space and support to transition towards a low emissions future.

Mr. Yadav reiterated BASIC demands that he has also spelt out in India that COP26 must aim for higher global ambition on climate finance and adaptation as well, along with recognition of the Parties’ differing historical responsibilities and the developmental challenges faced by developing countries, compounded by the pandemic.

Also Read:India to stress ‘climate justice’ at COP 26 global summit: Environment Minister

In the statement, Mr. Yadav recalled the “bottom-up nature” of the Paris Agreement and the freedom of Parties to determine their NDCs and progressively update them based on the outcomes of the Global Stocktake cycle — that specifies the actual progress made by countries so far in mitigating emissions — and as per national circumstances and call of science.

The latest available science makes it clear that all Parties need to immediately contribute their fair share and achieving this would require developed countries to rapidly reduce their emissions and dramatically scale-up their financial support to developing countries.

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