Two separate high-level diplomatic events last week gave more credence to the notion that in the months leading up to the next round of U.N. climate talks in Mexico in December, developing countries are working on building some strategic alliances — strategic alliances structured around the principle that it will be harder to develop without the help of fossil fuels like coal and oil, than it was to develop with them.
If there is ever going to be an international climate treaty that puts limits on the emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, developing nations are going to make sure they don’t get the short end of the stick.
Making sure they don’t end up with that deal, the environment ministers of Brazil, South Africa, India and China (BASIC) met in Cape Town over to discuss their approach at upcoming global climate change negotiations. In a joint statement issued by the environment ministers, the BASIC countries said that a legally binding follow-up treaty to the Kyoto protocol should be agreed no later than the U.N. climate summit late 2011 in Cape Town.
The BASIC countries are responsible for about 30 percent of global carbon emissions, but represent a much larger proportion of the world’s population. In some respects, they command more bargaining power than the industrialized countries of the global North. Continue reading… »