BRICS environmental ministers want support for climate goals

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The BRICS Ministers of Environment have called on developed countries to continue to support developing nations in meeting their climate change mitigation strategies.

Environment Ministers and their representatives from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa have met in KwaZulu-Natal for the 4th BRICS Ministers of Environment Meeting.

The two-day meeting allowed ministers to strengthen co-operation between their countries on several key environmental matters. They also announced their commitment to signing a joint memorandum of understanding in environmental management in the near future.

The annual meeting allows BRICS nations to recommit themselves to leading environmental policies to ultimately achieve the Sustainable Development Goal of eradicating poverty.

South Africa hosted this fourth session. Matters like climate change, water and food security and using technology to drive better green practices were unpacked.

Ministers present say while each of their countries has its own unique set of environmental challenges, they share the common desire for economic growth but not at the risk of destroying the environment. South African Environment Minister, Edna Molewa spoke about re-thinking the way goods and resources are produced and consumed…

“We acknowledge that the circular economy approach aims to keep resources in use for as long as possible. And extracts the maximum value from those whilst in use then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service of life.”

Molewa highlighted matters of water and food security — something that is critical to economic growth in all developing countries.

“We express our intention to enhance co-operation in the fields of water on the basis of sustainable development addressing the themes of water and food security. Water supply and sanitation. Water and climate and systematically facilitating water pollution prevention and control. We underscore our collective interest in improving our national water infrastructure and also to secure and manage our natural water resources while considering the traditional knowledge of our indigenous people and local communities related to water resources.”

Brazil will now take over the summit chair and host the 5th BRICS Ministers of Environment meeting next year. Under secretary-general for the Environment, Energy and Science and Technology of the Brazilian Minister of External Relations — Antonio Marcondes — reiterated Molewa’s sentiments of co-operation for the common benefit of all developing countries.

“I think it showed the unabated commitment by all of our countries to sustainability. The centrality of the 2030 agenda for development. We have all pledged to continue working together for the well-being of our peoples and the wellbeing of non-member countries.”

The outcomes from this meeting is expected to make input at the upcoming 10th BRICS Summit comprising of heads of state in July in South Africa.