South Africa is currently playing host to the 15th BASIC Ministerial Climate Change Meeting, which started yesterday 26 June 2013 and is set to end Friday 28 June 2013 in Cape Town, Western Cape. The BASIC Group of countries include relevant Ministers dealing with climate change in South Africa, India, China and Brazil.

They have been meeting regularly on the margins of the various sessions under the United Nations Framework Conventions on Climate Change. According to a statement released earlier this week by the Department of Environmental Affairs, “this BASIC meeting will provide Ministers and senior negotiators with an opportunity for strategic discussion on key issues and dynamics that have emerged from the negotiations and informal consultations that have taken place thus far.”

The meeting in Cape Town will be the second BASIC meeting in 2013, the first meeting was held in Chennai in India. In addition, this meeting follows the recently concluded United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting in Bonn where negotiations under the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) were prominent.

The ADP is the forum for negotiation of a protocol, legal instrument, or agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention, applicable to all parties as agreed at the 17th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in Durban in 2011. The objective is for this work to be completed by 2015. The Ministers will use the BASIC platform to discuss the Bonn outcomes and further coordinate their positions for the 2015 agreement.

According to the Deaprtment of Environmental Affairs, representing the BASIC countries and expected to attend, are: Minister IzabellaMonicca Vieira Teixeira, Minister of Environment, Brazil; Minister JayanthiNatargan, Minister of State Independent Charge of Environment and Forests, India; Minister Edna Molewa, Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, South Africa and Mr ZhenhuaXie, Vice Chairman of the  National Development and Reform Commission of China.