With the small island countries and the least developed states veering towards the European line on climate change, the larger developing economies came together with African countries, binding around the BASIC four – India, China, South Africa and Brazil – to demand that principles of equity and ‘common but differentiated responsibility’ be operationalised in the post-2020 climate regime.
The minor economies of small islands and the least developed countries do not foresee any emission reduction targets imposed on them even if the firewall between developed and developing countries break down and have found it in their advantage to go along with the EU position.
But developing countries like Malaysia, Argentina, Thailand and Venezuela, along with traditional oil economies like UAE have bundled their cards with the big four emerging economies of the BASIC grouping realizing that they would be the first ones to bear an unfair burden of emission reduction once the firewall is blow away in the new regime under discussion.
At the Bonn talks where the roadmap for the year ahead is being thrashed out, 24 key developing economies, the African countries and the BASIC all sided to demand that the key question of equity be resolved even as the EU and the US found their own ways to oppose the principle being turned into an actual formula for burden sharing in the post-2020 regime.
Developed countries as well as large civil society coalitions from the North attempted to pit equity against ambition – suggesting that implementing the principle of equity where every country bares a just amount of responsibility for reducing emissions would reduce the overall ambition levels of emission targets. Developed countries tried to inject the word ‘fair’ instead of ‘just’ and ‘equitable’ in the talks to reduce their responsibility arising of historic emissions.
The US, on the other hand, pushed that the talks did not permit equitable share to all countries over the atmosphere neither did the existing convention apportion responsibilities on countries based on historic emissions.