BRICs group to expand environmental cooperation

Leading emerging economies say they want to deepen ties on renewable energy and explore ways to finance green growth

Leaders at the 2014 Brics summit in Brazil celebrate plans for a joint investment bank (Pic: GovernmentZA/Flickr)

Leaders at the 2014 Brics summit in Brazil celebrate plans for a joint investment bank (Pic: GovernmentZA/Flickr)

By Ed King

Russia, China, India, Brazil and South Africa plan to deepen ties on environmental protection and waste management, according to a summary of their recent meeting.

The BRICS group also discussed plans to increase their renewable energy use at a gathering in Moscow on Wednesday.

“The group will study the possibility of creating a joint BRICS platform for exchanging best practices and environmentally clean technology and know-how,” ministers said in a statement.

It’s the first time the heads of environment from the five emerging economies have met under the BRICS banner, described by India environment minister Prakash Javadekar as a “major initiative”.

“Technology development, technology transfer and finance are important for developing world in taking more robust actions,” he said, in quotes reported by the Economic Times.

“The cooperation of the developed world is needed in this respect as the cumulative efforts of the world and our joint actions will impact the climate in a positive way.”

He added: “Prime minister Narendra Modi is confident that India will lead by example in its effort to combat climate change as Indian lifestyle is simple, stresses on need-based consumption and uses less energy.”

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Collectively, the five countries were responsible for nearly 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2010, with China accounting for 22%.

Energy use in emerging economies is expected to soar by 2030. In India, an estimated 300 million people still live without regular access to electricity.

Research last month from the UN Environment Programme indicated developing countries are close to taking the lead in clean energy investments, with the solar sectors in China and India enjoying sound growth.

Achim Steiner, head of UNEP, told delegates he hoped the new BRICs development bank could drive investments in green infrastructure.

“If brought to scale, the US $300+ trillion global financial system could help close the widening gap in sustainable development investment,” he said.

“In a marked break with the past, developing nations are playing a leading role in this all-important reshaping, notably those with major economies and rapidly developing financial and capital markets.”

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