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18th Meeting of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, Mexico City

18th Meeting of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, Mexico City

The 18th meeting of the Major Economies Forum (MEF) on Energy and Climate brings together the ministers and the officials from 17 major economies and the representatives from the UN, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, Saudi Arabia and Singapore and Marshall Island  to discuss issues related to the international climate change negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC). This conference  is considered as a preparatory meeting for  the annual climate change conference to be held in Lima, Peru, in December 2014 and the Paris Climate Change Conference to be held  in 2015, under expectations  whether mitigation commitments will be finalized or whether Paris will launch a future process to agree on such commitments.

Some participants indicated that 2015 might be too early to agree on mitigation targets because countries must first agree on ground rules and on relevant text, while others stressed the importance of including mitigation commitments in the 2015 outcome. MEF participants also considered: options for legal force regarding mitigation provisions of the 2015 agreement, noting the possibility of different types of provisions and lack of uniform treatment in terms of legal force; potential situations when aggregate commitments fall short of necessary ambition; and whether bounds on flexibility should be accorded to countries in coming up with nationally-determined commitments, regarding timeframe, quantification, or transparency. Participants broadly supported the concept of a MEF Action Agenda, which would consist of concrete efforts on a voluntary, cooperative basis to accelerate the transition to low-carbon economies. The leading countries put their views on this issue of serious concern :

INDIA: Shri H K Pandey , Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India, New Delhi represented India in this forum. He asserted , Mitigation can not be the only goal, it has to be the whole gamut of solutions. Climate change is a reality. we realize that consumerist lifestyles have a major bearing on climate change. MEF is not a substitute, it just supplements the global efforts being taken to meet the challenge. He reiterated that  the majority of the adverse effects of climate change are experienced by poor and low-income communities around the world, who have much higher levels of vulnerability to environmental determinants of health, wealth and other factors, and much lower levels of resilience to cope  with environmental change. He also expressed his inability to commit on behalf of the government on account of the general elections going on and the new government is expected to be in place by end of May, 2014. He agreed that these conferences are critical steps for progress on pre-2020 ambition and toward a successful agreement in 2015. He reminded  that the 2015 agreement for a post-2020 world, is based on ‘the principles of the Convention’. This brings equity, common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities into the context.  Shri Pandey raised the question frankly about what has been done so far by Annex I  and Annex II countries  to tackle this challenge ? India has been growing by her own and there are many Indias so we have to maintain a balance between the economic growth and preservation of the climate. He reaffirmed his position "whether it is a matter of Mitigation, Adaptation, Technology transfer, Finance or Capacity building, we will be  always a part of the Convention". He also invited the participants to India to see the new Zero Energy Building of the Ministry of Environment and Forest in New Delhi.

CHINA: The representative asserted that China needs to continue growing .The economic growth and development has to go hand in hand with the measures to be taken towards low carbon economies. China is aware of what needs to be done but before imposing legal binding agreements we must take into account the specific situation of each country. we definitely need a very precise agenda. All countries  should commit themselves for a common goal to conserve and maintain our climate and China will be  a part of that. He  affirmed that we need to be transparent and aware of the challenge before us. He said that unless differentiated any policy or agreement would be wrong. He also informed the forum that China has taken into consideration the factors related to the clean energy and low carbon economy in 10 large projects in different regions. Many provincial governments are discouraging high carbon economy through various means. He also announced that China has been providing tremendous financial support to south- south cooperation to meet this end. He mentioned about his recent visit to Nepal and told that Nepal truly needs support in this regard.

BRAZIL: The delegate from Brazil informed  the gathering that her government has been revising thoroughly all the national policies and programs in the light of global climate change. Our national circumstances compel us to grow consistently. He raised the concern of " Trust Deficit" in the whole gamut of exercises. we talk a lot about trust but we need to build trust not just to talk about. He told that Mitigation has to be in the core of any future agenda but the "Means of implementation" is the biggest absent in the agreement. Apart from  the provisions of bounded flexibility and Opt-in and opt-out , Equity needs to be deeply discussed. Regarding Green Climate Fund he told that it is a drop in the ocean.

USA: The representative of USA recalled the various steps being taken in the past towards Paris climate change conference 2015 .He reiterated that USA is aware of the fact that poor and low-income communities around the world need to be taken into consideration. Mitigation has to be at the centre. The ambition in timing should be the guiding force. He said, we have to review and fix the core commitment around which additional layering may be done. Two new agreements have to come, one for Annex I and other for Non- Annex I as Non- Annex I included ten out of thirty high per capita income countries. He informed about  the cyclone Sandy and wildfire, USA  faced recently.

RUSSIA

The representative of Russia affirmed that Global challenge required global response. New regime should be legally binding and it should be for developing countries as well. It is not an easy exercise but we can not get away with it. The solution has to be universal and comprehensive.

Among other invitees Marshall Island put forth her views very emphatically, some excerpts are as follows:

The representative repeated the commitment of her government that they would not make any building unless it is climate change-proof. The 2015 agreement must "elevate the political profile" of these measures. He also raised the term "Global Aim of Adaptation'' which invited many participants to express their opinion. He asserted that all financial and technical resources should be focused towards the most vulnerable.

EU also emphasized upon enhancing individual responsibility.

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