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Posted on on October 6th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (

See the flyer we received from on-goings at the meeting in Tianjin – the place the BASIC countries will are following up this week on what got started in the run-up to Copenhagen when President Obama met President Hu Jintao in Beijing.

BASIC countries racing to the future: An opportunity to listen to the views of BASIC country NGOs
Tuesday, Oct 5th, 19:45 – 21:15, Room 1, Tianjin Meijiang Convention and Exhibition Center (MJCEC)

Amongst the many surprises of Copenhagen, the emergence of the geopolitical alliance know as the BASIC countries (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) that brokered the Copenhagen Accord with the US directly, seemingly bypassing such “climate leaders” as Germany, France and the UK, is surely one that we will not forget easily and that we have clearly not seen the end of either. The role that emerging economies play in the climate negotiations – both as potential leaders as well as laggards – is crucial for the eventual achievement of the FAB deal we are all working towards. But as importantly, the momentum that they can instill in the process by taking bold and ambitious actions and showing leadership at the national level is one of our greatest hopes for real change on the ground and reductions in global emissions. How can this new global force have a positive effect on emissions reductions concretely and on the international negotiation process? Can the BASIC countries show the way to the future low-carbon, equitable and sustainable society that we aspire to and that our planet needs? And what role can NGOs of these countries play to ensure that the new leadership is progressive and positive?

Our speakers are:

Leela Raina from IYCN / Negotiator Tracker for INDIA

Morrow Gaines Campbell from Viate Civilis / CAN / GCCA-Brazil for BRAZIL

Melita Steele from Greenpeace for SOUTH AFRICA

Julian Chen from China CAN for CHINA

LO Sze Ping, China Coordinator for GCCA, will be the opening speaker and moderator.

This side-event is proposed as a space during the Tianjin meeting for NGO representatives from BASIC countries to come together and share their views on how to empower their respective countries, and the group as a whole, to take the much needed leadership in the inevitable “race to the future”. In the horizon, we foresee NGOs from BASIC countries exchanging information on their respective campaign efforts nationally, planning coordinated and/or joint campaigns, and advocating at the international level for a FAB deal with one voice. This event will hopefully take us one step in that direction.

We propose to kick off the event with a short intervention to set the stage and trigger discussion that will outline the opportunities that taking leadership in the race to the future holds for the internal development dynamics of these countries and the possibilities of exploring alternative development paradigms through clean energy and low-carbon models. Then we will follow with short interventions from NGO reps from each one of the BASIC countries outlining where their countries are at with respect to a new low-carbon development paradigm, who the key political players are that will promote such a paradigm, identify the domestic and international hurdles on the way, and how civil society can play a catalyzing role in this process.

Next we will invite the participants in the event to form smaller discussion groups about possible synergies and collaboration amongst these countries (where ideally we would have at least one representative from each of the BASIC countries) and we would conclude with a plenary session where each group presents their conclusions and next steps to take forward the collaboration between BASIC country NGOs.

We hope you will participate actively in this event and bring your creative ideas and concrete proposals to the collective discussion.

For more information and to confirm your participation, please contact: Sze Ping at:  szeping1924 at or +86 13911460873

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