The BRICS on the road to COP 21

The BRICS on the road to COP 21

The impact of the actions of the countries that constitute the BRICS goes beyond the scope of the economic sector, reaching, among others, the socio-environmental agenda through issues such as the exploitation of natural resources, land use, the promotion of rights as a crucial part of this agenda, and most of all climate change. Hence the growing need, in recent years, to promote researches and disseminate.

Between November 30th and December 12th of 2015, in Paris, France, the 196 countries that are part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) gatheredr in search for consensus on a new global agreement on climate change. Their objective was to reach an agreement that might substitute the only binding instrument of the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol.
 
The participation of emerging countries in this process is crucial. This is not only due to their growing importance in the international system, but also to their in depth contribution to the climate crisis in recent years. Hence, they must take part in the global solution to it. Though Brazil, China, India, Russia, and South Africa do not act as BRICS in the climate negotiations, in view of the lack of comparative analysis of the positions of these countries in the climate regime, the authors of this paper have decidedto keep Russia as part of this brief.
 
By analyzing the national contributions of each country, it becomes evident that climate change is absent of the BRICS agenda. Furthermore, such comparison will allow the authors to demonstrate how the BASIC group seems to not have worked towards a substantive alignment of their positions, at least regarding the production and presentation of intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs).
 

The engagement of BASIC in the climate regime is crucial for the maintenance and strengthening of the multilateral system achieved so far. We believe that the regime and the climate change agenda must be subject to a robust foreign policy initiative that may guarantee Brazil’s position of leadership in the field. In this sense, we present the following recommendations:

  • the Brazilian Government should propose a more explicit cooperation and information sharing among the BASIC countries on means of implementation, technology, and financing, in order to strengthen and give visibility to its INDC implementation
  • the Brazilian Government should emphasize the role of South-South cooperation as a mean of implementation of the Convention
  • the Brazilian Government should promote a dialogue among the BASIC countries and between these countries and the G-77 on adaptation strategies, especially on issues of: (i) water resources management; (ii) energy; (iii) ecosystems, forests, and biodiversity; (iv) public health; and (v) agriculture
  • it is necessary to open a dialogue on climate issues in the BRICS (including Russia), given the need to bring the “New Development Bank” (the BRICS development bank) to bear on issues of climate finance, as well as their relation to the governance of international financial institutions more generally
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