The 7th BRICS Environment Ministerial Meet 2021 was held virtually at the Sushma Swaraj Bhawan, New Delhi, under India’s chairmanship on Friday (27/08/2021).
The key takeaway of this year’s BRICS Ministerial Meet is the adoption of the Delhi Statement on Environment. In addition, discussions and deliberations were held on key environmental issues.
The New Delhi statement on Environment:
The New Delhi statement on the environment aims to further the spirit of Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation, & Consensus in Environment among the BRICS Nations.
Further, detailed deliberations were held on pressing environmental challenges like Resource Efficiency & Circular Economy, Air Pollution & Marine Plastic Litter, Conservation & sustainable use of Biodiversity, Forest Cover Assessment & Management of Forest Fire, among others as part of the New Delhi statement.
At the 7th BRICS Ministerial Meet, India underlined the need for taking concrete collective global actions against environment & climate challenges guided by equity, national priorities, and circumstances, and the principles of “Common but differentiated responsibilities & respective capabilities (CBDR-RC).
7th BRICS Environment Ministerial Meet 2021:
Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change Bhupender Yadav chaired the 7th BRICS Environment meet.
During the meet, he reiterated the importance of BRICS for India and India’s seriousness for BRICS. He said that 2021 is a very crucial year, not only for BRICS but for the whole world with the UN Biodiversity COP- 15 scheduled in October and the UNFCCC COP-26 in November.
He emphasized that BRICS Countries can play a very significant role in addressing the contemporary global challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, air pollution, marine plastic litter, etc.
Referring to the recent findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group 1 contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report “Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science”, the minister said that report has given enough, maybe the last signal, for taking concrete collective global actions against Global environmental and climate challenges.
Further, the Environment Minister shared India’s ambitious Renewable energy target and the robust steps being taken by GOI in the field of renewable energy, sustainable habitats, creation of carbon sinks through additional forest and tree cover, transition to sustainable transport, e-mobility, mobilizing the private sector to make climate commitments, etc.
“BRICS Countries being hotspots for biodiversity can tell the world how we have been conserving such mega diversity since time immemorial, and can also play a very significant role in combating the Covid-19 pandemic.”, said the minister.
About BRICS Environment Ministerial meeting:
The inaugural BRICS Environment Ministerial Meet was held in Moscow, Russia in April 2015 with the aim to strengthen cooperation on environmental issues.
The meeting pioneered the establishment of a Working Group on Environment for identifying and discussing key areas of cooperation, share best environmental practices amongst BRICS countries, and facilitate the exchange of environmentally sound technologies and know-how with the participation of public and private stakeholders in BRICS countries.
Six BRICS Environment Ministerial meets have been held so far, with the latest one preceding the current meet being held on 31 July 2020. A series of initiatives have also been launched as part of these meetings, like:
– The BRICS Environmentally Sound Technology (BEST) Platform was launched in 2015, with the aim to facilitate the accumulation & exchange of information on best available practices and environmentally friendly technologies to achieve global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
– The ‘Clean Rivers of BRICS’ concept developed within the BRICS Technology Platform during the inaugural BRICS Working Group meeting hosted by Russia in 2016 aimed to have a structured approach to cooperation amongst BRICS countries on clean rivers.
– The BRICS Partnership for Urban Environment Sustainability Initiative (PUESI) was launched in 2017 with the aim to enhance cooperation between municipalities of BRICS countries to realize Sustainable Development Goal 11 of ‘making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.’
– A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Environmental Cooperation was signed between the BRICS countries in 2018 to facilitate the exchange of experiences, best practices & technical know-how through both public and private sectors in priority areas like Air Quality, Water, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Waste Management, and SDGs.
The popular acronym in international relations, BRICS stands for a group of five emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. The BRICS countries are known for their significant influence on regional affairs.
The leaders from four of the five countries, namely: Brazil, Russia, India, and China met for the first time in St. Petersburg, Russia, on the margins of the G-8 Outreach Summit in July 2006. Shortly afterward, in September 2006, the group was formalized as BRIC during the 1st BRIC Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, which met on the sidelines of the General Debate of the UN Assembly in New York City.
The first formal BRIC summit however was held in Yekaterinburg, Russia on 16 June 2009. In September 2010, the group was renamed as BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) after South Africa was accepted as a full member at the BRIC Foreign Ministers’ meeting held in New York.