BRICS nations stress on environment goals - GulfToday

BRICS nations stress on environment goals

Meena Janardhan

Writer/Editor/Consultant. She has over 25 years of experience in the fields of environmental journalism and publishing.

Writer/Editor/Consultant. She has over 25 years of experience in the fields of environmental journalism and publishing.

BRICS-Nations-Flags

The photo has been used for illustraitve purposes.

The five BRICS nations have called for improving the environment and promoting a circular economy in national plans as steps towards recovery in the fight against COVID-19. At a recent meeting of environment ministers of the BRICS nations that was organised through video conferencing, the nations pointed out that the impact of COVID-19 poses a serious challenge to achieving the aspirations of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Goals (SDGs).

The BRICS group is composed of five major emerging countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa  – which together represent about 42% of the population, 23% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 30% of the territory and 18% of the global trade.

The meeting was organised under the presidency of Russia. The meeting’s primary concern was the danger that COVID-19 has posed for the world and the redevelopment of the economies. India will get the BRICS presidency in 2021.

In a joint statement, the BRICS countries said, “We express our concern that the impact of COVID-19 pandemic poses a serious challenge to achieving the aspirations of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs when the world is expected to be entering the decade of action. The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened social vulnerabilities, resulting in significant job losses, particularly in the informal sector which has been most affected and that providing adequate means of support to this sector is crucial.”

The ministers panel also acknowledged that the need for initiatives to improve the environment, promote the economy, and make it sustainable. The focus would also be laid on sustainable modes of production and consumption of national economy amongst the BRICS nations as a mark of economic growth. The BRICS nations also emphasised the assistance of the developed nation for climate finance to a developed nation.

Stating that India could provide the platform wherein all best practices in environmental management in BRICS countries could be showcased, Indian Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said, “India believes that equity, common but differentiated responsibilities, finance and technology partnerships are key pillars towards attainment of global goals of climate change mitigation and adaptation.”

A Ministry statement said that the minister also elaborated on the efforts made by India in areas related to sustainable urban management, tackling marine litter, air pollution and cleaning of rivers. He added that the aspiration of BRICS countries were similar and called for sharing of best practices among the BRICS nations towards attainment of sustainable development goals. The Minister also stressed the need to implement various initiatives under the BRICS and for speedy implementation of the BRICS MoU.

Highlighting the efforts made by India in controlling air pollution, Javadekar said in 2015 India launched the air quality index monitoring in 10 cities. Today it had been extended to 122 cities. He added that in 2019 India launched the national clean air programme (NCAP), the goal of which is to reduce particulate pollution by 20-30% relative to 2017 levels by 2024.

In a landmark meeting last year in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, the leaders of the five countries had expressed their commitment to sustainable development in its three dimensions – economic, social and environmental – in a balanced and integrated manner.

The 73-point Brasilia Declaration issued by the BRICS Summit stated “All our citizens, in all parts of our respective territories, including remote areas, deserve to fully enjoy the benefits of sustainable development. International cooperation in this field, as in all others, must respect national sovereignty and domestic legal and institutional frameworks and arrangements, as well as practices and procedures.” The Declaration reiterated the importance of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and called for redoubled efforts for its timely implementation. It called on developed countries to fully implement their Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments and to provide developing countries with additional development resources.

The BRICS leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of the Paris Agreement adopted under the principles of the UNFCCC, including the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances.

They urged developed countries to scale up the provision of financial, technological and capacity-building assistance to developing countries to support mitigation and adaptation action. They expected that the first replenishment of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) by the end of 2019 will significantly exceed the initial resource mobilisation, ensuring that financial contributions by donors match the ambition, needs and priorities of developing countries.

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