Forging solid BRICS foundation for tackling global climate change

Photo taken on November 3, 2021 shows a photovoltaic and wind power generation project installed above the fishery waters in Sheyanghu Township, Baoying County of Yangzhou City, east China's Jiangsu Province.

Photo credit: Xinhua | Li Bo

The BRICS countries held multiple high-level environmental conferences recently and have renewed their joint commitment to tackling climate change and promoting sustainable development.

These countries, representing around 42 percent of the world population and one-fifth of the global GDP, have laid a solid foundation for the international governance on climate change through concrete actions in carbon reduction and pragmatic cooperation for green growth.

Determined practitioners for carbon reduction

Attaching great importance to addressing climate change, the BRICS countries have set concrete goals based on national circumstances, and have achieved notable progress in reducing carbon emissions.

On the basis of exceeding the 2020 climate action goal promised to the international community, China has further announced the goal and vision of striving to peak carbon-dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.

By 2021, China’s energy consumption per unit of GDP had plunged 26.2 percent from 2012. The country’s installed capacity of renewable energy had topped 1 billion kilowatts, and it had contributed a quarter of the newly-added afforestation area globally.

To advance low-carbon development, China has set up the “1+N” policy framework for carbon peak and carbon neutrality, is developing large wind power and photovoltaic bases with total installed capacity of 450 million kilowatts, and will actively build a national carbon market.

As a responsible promoter for international climate governance, China has put forward its Global Development Initiative to accelerate the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes climate change and green development as one of the eight priority areas for cooperation. It will also shore up support for developing countries in the field of green energy.

Fully committed to combating the adverse impacts of climate change, Brazil has increased its mitigation ambition, setting a new target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030 from the 2005 levels.

It has also decided to eliminate illegal deforestation by 2028, restore and plant 18 million hectares of forests by 2030, and launched a national programme for reducing methane emissions.

Adhering to the principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, Russia has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, promoting a substantial restructuring of its industrial and energy sectors.

It plans to increase the utilisation of associated gas and introduce a large-scale programme related to ecological modernisation and energy efficiency in all sectors. It is also building infrastructure for the production of hydrogen to be used as a raw material and energy carrier.

Aerial photo taken on August 22, 2021 shows the scenery of Saihanba forest farm in north China's Hebei Province.

Photo credit: Xinhua | Jin Haoyuan

India has announced to reduce its carbon intensity by 45 percent by 2030 and realise net-zero emissions by 2070. It has also launched a project to generate hydrogen from green energy sources in order to provide alternatives for fossil fuels, and has increased the coverage rate of afforestation areas to 24.62 percent.

Like other BRICS countries, South Africa has developed a long-term strategy for green growth. The country has promised to bring forward the peaking of emissions by a decade, and is working on detailed plans to enable a just transition to a low-carbon economy and climate-resilient society.

“BRICS countries, as an important force in addressing climate change, have contributed their share to global climate response,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin.

These countries have collaborated with each other for policy information sharing while engaging in dialogue and exchanges on specific policies, measures and actions adopted to implement respective climate goals, Wang added.

Active partners for green, sustainable growth

At the recent BRICS High-level Meeting on Climate Change, a joint statement was issued, urging all parties to adhere to multilateralism and focus on concrete climate actions.

The statement emphasised that developed countries should take the lead in scaling up mitigation actions and ambition and provision of climate financing, and respect the right to development and policy space of developing countries as well as countries in transition.

Committed to stronger cooperation on climate change, the BRICS countries will exchange information at multiple levels in the fields of clean energy, low-carbon technology, sustainable and resilient infrastructure construction, carbon market and climate change adaptation.

They will also jointly promote policy research on green growth, technological cooperation and pilot projects, and advance the transition and upgrading of energy, resources, industrial and consumption structures.

“The BRICS countries have made their voice heard for improving the global climate governance system,” Wang said, “China stands ready to work with its fellow members to assume BRICS’ responsibility for, and offer its solution and contribution to global climate cooperation.

”In 2015, the BRICS countries initiated the New Development Bank, which aims to become a global development bank in mobilising resources for infrastructure and sustainable development.

The bank will offer $30 billion to support its members in the 2022-2026 period, about 40 percent of which will be directed to projects contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation.

“Future investments will have to be smarter, more sustainable and climate-resilient,” said Marcos Troyjo, president of the bank, noting that the bank will continue to expand its membership in a gradual and balanced manner.

Highlighting the importance of the BRICS mechanism in international governance, Andrey Gubin, associate professor at Russia’s Far Eastern Federal University, said BRICS will “make it possible to focus on the problems of uneven development, depletion of resources, environmental degradation, climate change, the spread of dangerous diseases, which must be dealt with only through the efforts of the world community.” (Xinhua)