Joint Statement issued at the BRICS High-level Meeting on Climate Change

time:2022-05-24 16:25

1. The BRICS High-level Meeting on Climate Change was organized virtually on 13th May 2022. The meeting was chaired by H.E. Mr. HUANG Runqiu, Minister of Ecology and Environment of the People's Republic of China, and attended by H.E. Mr. XIE Zhenhua, China Special Envoy for Climate Change, H.E. Mr. ZHAO Yingmin, Vice Minister of Ecology and Environment of the People's Republic of China, H.E. Mr. Joaquim Leite, Minister of the Environment of the Federative Republic of Brazil, H.E. Mr. Sergey Anoprienko, Deputy Minister of the Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation, H.E. Mr. Bhupender Yadav, Minister of the Environment, Forest and Climate Change & Labor and Employment of the Republic of India and H.E. Ms. Barbara Creecy, Minister of the Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment of the Republic of South Africa.

2. Right now, the world, particularly developing countries, is struggling to recover from multiple challenges, including COVID-19 pandemic, economic crisis and struggling to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. The BRICS High-level Meeting on Climate Change aims to jointly address climate change, explore approaches to accelerate low-carbon and climate resilient transition and achieve sustainable, balanced and inclusive recovery and development.

3. We jointly celebrate the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Convention) and reiterate the commitments to the goals, principles and institutional framework of the Convention and its Paris Agreement. We recall that the adoption of the Convention 30 years ago symbolized the international community's full recognition of the adverse impacts of climate change on nature and humankind, with the Parties taking on commitments to take actions to respond actively within the jointly-established consensus, framework and principles. We reaffirm the role of the Convention and its Paris Agreement as the fundamental legal basis and main channel for international cooperation on addressing climate change, and are committed to promoting the full and effective implementation of the Convention and its Paris Agreement.

4. We reiterate that multilateralism is an important way to address global challenges, such as climate change. All Parties need to adhere to multilateralism and focus on concrete climate actions. We call on all Parties to adhere to the principles of the Convention and its Paris Agreement, including common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances, and to increase mutual trust, strengthen cooperation, implement the Convention and its Paris Agreement in an accurate, balanced and comprehensive way, in accordance with the institutional arrangement of nationally determined contributions, and based on existing consensus. Developing countries require enabling means of implementation support to contribute their best effort.

5. We attach great importance to addressing climate change and highlight that BRICS countries have played an active and leading role in the multilateral process on climate change and contributed greatly to global low-carbon, climate resilient and sustainable development. We recognize that developing countries face more difficulties and challenges in achieving the goals of global carbon neutrality in the context of the world economy recovery, achieving sustainable development goals, including making efforts to eradicate poverty. We have already set forth nationally determined contributions reflecting our highest ambition based on national circumstances and capabilities. We have taken ambitious actions to address climate change within the sustainable development framework and have achieved great progress.

6. China has been implementing proactive national strategies on addressing climate change. 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, and scaled up its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) through a series of new measures. By 2021, China’s energy consumption intensity per unit of GDP was 26.2% lower than that in 2012, installed capacity of renewable energy exceeds 1 billion kilowatts, and a quarter of the global net increase in green leaf area comes from China. China has communicated updated NDC and Long-Term Low Greenhouse Gas Emission Development Strategy, set up the Leading Group on Carbon Peaking and Carbon Neutrality, finalized the top-level design on carbon peaking and carbon neutrality and basically established the "1+N" policy framework for carbon peak and carbon neutrality. China is planning and developing large wind power and photovoltaic bases with an installed capacity of 450 million kilowatts, will actively promote the construction of the national carbon market, step up support for other developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energy, and will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad. China has put forward its Global Development Initiative to accelerate the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which takes climate change and green development as one of its 8 priority cooperation areas.  

7. Brazil is fully committed to combating the adverse impacts of climate change. At COP 26, Brazil increased its mitigation ambition, with a new target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030, based on 2005 levels. Brazil announced strategic measures for our 2050 climate neutrality commitment, including zero illegal deforestation by 2028, restoring and reforesting 18 million hectares of forests by 2030, as well as encouraging the expansion of the national rail network. Brazil also joined the Global Pact on Methane and, more recently, announced the creation of the National Program for the Reduction of Methane Emissions – Zero Methane, which will be responsible for generating economic resources through the reduction of methane emissions in the country. Brazil acted decisively to close the Paris Agreement Rulebook and hopes that carbon markets can mobilize more resources and generate a further increase in global ambition to combat climate change.

8. The Russian Federation strongly adheres to the principles of the Convention and the Paris Agreement, consistently pursuing their goals. Russia has announced the achievement of carbon neutrality by 2060. Russia is working on a radical restructurisation of the Russian industry and energy sectors, with 45% of Russia's energy balance already stemming from low-emission energy sources, including nuclear power generation. The Russian Federation intends to increase the utilization of associated gas, implement a large-scale program of ecological modernization and energy efficiency in all sectors of the economy. Russia is creating the infrastructure for the production of hydrogen to be used as a raw material and energy carrier. Recognizing that one of our key objectives is to improve our capacity for adaptation to the climate change and emphasizing that the climate change affects everyone regardless of the political environment, Russia is holding an international conference in St. Petersburg in July 2022 and invites our BRICS partners to participate.

9. India is committed to strong climate actions including promotion of sustainable lifestyles based on mindful consumption and reduction of waste. India has launched policies spanning major economic sectors including, inter alia, energy, transportation and industry, and has made great strides towards meeting and even exceeding its initial NDCs under the Paris Agreement. Emissions intensity of GDP has already reduced by 24% over 2005 levels, indicating progressive decoupling of emissions from economic growth. India has installed 159 GW of non-fossil electric capacity, thereby already achieving its NDC pertaining to 40 percent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources, almost 8 years ahead of schedule. Subsequently, India has announced enhanced climate commitments including 50 percent of installed electric capacity from non fossil fuel sources to reach 500 GW by 2030, reducing carbon intensity of the economy by 45 per cent by 2030 and to achieve the target of net zero emissions by 2070. Alongside, a National Hydrogen Mission has been launched for generating hydrogen from green energy sources to create alternatives to fossil fuels. India is also striving forward on an ambitious biofuel program that targets 20% Ethanol Blending in Petrol by 2025-26 and 5% blending of Biodiesel in diesel by 2030. India's forest and tree cover is steadily increasing, and 24.62% of its geographic area is under forest and tree cover. India has added 23 wetlands as Ramsar sites in last three years and now has the largest network of Ramsar sites in South Asia. This reflects India’s strong efforts in strengthening ecosystem based approaches for combating climate change. Besides ambitious domestic actions for mitigation and adaptation, India is promoting practical, issue based global cooperation as demonstrated by its launch of the International Solar Alliance at COP21. This was followed by launch of a ‘Green Grids Initiative - One Sun, One World, One Grid’ at COP26, to build a framework for a global cooperation initiative targeted at effective utilisation of renewable sources across the globe and accelerate the mobilisation of technical and financial resources needed to advance action on green grids. India also launched 'Infrastructure for Resilient Island States' (IRIS) under Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) for support to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in achieving sustainable development through a systematic approach to resilient, sustainable, and inclusive infrastructure.

10. South Africa is making progress on its climate goals. It has established a Presidential Climate Commission, adopted a National Adaptation Strategy, implemented an enhanced Mitigation system with robust monitoring and evaluation, and developed a long-term Low Emissions Development Strategy. South Africa’s updated and significantly more ambitious NDC submitted ahead of COP26 brings forward the peaking of its emissions by a decade and contains detailed information on adaptation, which serves as the Country’s first adaptation communications, as well as the support South Africa requires from the international community. In line with the letter and spirit of the Paris Agreement, the lower end of South Africa’s 2030 updated target emission range is consistent with a 1.5-degree pathway, while the upper end of the range is consistent with a 2-degree pathway. Where South Africa gets to in this range will depend on the international support it receives. South Africa is further developing detailed plans to enable a Just Transition to a low carbon economy and climate resilient society. These plans will locate support for affected workers and communities and will be at the centre of these plans.

11. We welcome the efforts of and express our full support to the incoming Egyptian Presidency of COP27. We are committed to working towards the success of COP27 with all other Parties in an open, transparent, inclusive, Party-driven and consensus-based manner. COP27 should prioritize implementation and highlight the reinforcement of adaptation and the delivery and urgency of developed countries’ commitments to provide credible, adequate, predictable, timely, new and additional financial support and technology transfer to developing countries.

12. We underline 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. We call for all Parties to focus on implementation actions, faithfully translating their climate goals and visions into implementation policies, measures and actions.

13. We emphasize that improving capacity and securing, appropriate and predictable funding from developed countries for climate change adaptation is the urgent need and priority for developing countries, as is their need for international assistance in dealing with Loss and Damage caused by climate change. We welcome the Glasgow–Sharm el-Sheikh work programme on the Global Goal on Adaptation, underscoring the importance of guiding enhanced adaptation actions and support, which is a contribution towards the global effort to address climate change. Furthermore, we welcome the Glasgow Dialogue to discuss the arrangements for the funding of activities to avert, minimize and address loss and damage associated with the adverse impacts of climate change. We call for the developed countries in Annex II to the Convention to scale-up the support for developing countries to adapt to climate change, enhance their resilience to climate change and come forward with a detailed and explicit roadmap on how the commitment made at COP26 to at least double climate finance for adaptation to developing countries from 2019 levels by 2025 will be realized, as soon as possible.

14. We underscore that the support provided by developed countries in Annex II to the Convention should be commensurate with the climate actions taken by developing countries. The provision and mobilization of resources under the Convention and its Paris Agreement is a responsibility of developed countries towards developing countries. Furthermore, ambition of action needs to be matched with ambition of support to developing countries. We note with deep concern that developed countries in Annex II to the Convention have not yet fulfilled their commitments on climate finance, including mobilizing USD 100 billion per year by 2020. We urge them to fulfill the commitments as soon as possible before COP27, make greater contributions towards setting the new collective quantified goal on climate finance post-2025, and scale up indispensable support to developing countries on finance, technology development and transfer, and capacity-building, to assist developing countries to take climate actions in the context of sustainable development.

15. We are committed to strengthening collaboration on climate change, broadening the areas and deepening the contents of cooperation. We will carry out information exchanges and cooperation at the national, local, industrial and enterprise levels, in multiple fields including clean energy, low-carbon technology, sustainable and resilient infrastructure construction, carbon market and climate change adaptation, jointly promote the policy research on low-carbon green growth, technology cooperation and joint pilot projects. With science and technology innovation being the driver, we will promote the transition and upgrading of energy, resources, industrial structure and consumption structure, jointly exploring pathways for low-carbon and sustainable development. We appreciate the discussions on climate change-related issues within the BRICS framework. We welcome and encourage activities of the BRICS countries to address climate change and sustainable and low-carbon transition.

16. We oppose the politicization of climate change issues and all forms of unilateralism and protectionism, emphasizing that unilateral measures violate the objectives and principles of the Convention and its Paris Agreement, and seriously undermine multilateral cooperation and the ability of the concerned countries to combat climate change. We oppose any measures to restrict trade and investment and setting up new green trade barriers with the pretext of addressing climate change, such as the imposition of Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanisms, which are incompatible with multilateral rules under the World Trade Organization.

17. We encourage all Parties to share specific policies, measures and actions towards climate goals, especially the information on best practices, difficulties and challenges. COP27 needs to represent the turning-point for all Parties to translate existing goals and pledges into concrete actions and work together to address the challenge of global climate change.

(Source: Ministry of Ecology and Environment of the People's Republic of China)