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BRICS plays role in global climate fight

By HOU LIQIANG | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-09-09 07:04

Journalists gather at the media center of the 15th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa. GRIGORY SYSOEV/SPUTNIK

BRICS has played a leading role in the global multilateral climate process, despite the lack of mutual trust between many countries in jointly coping with the global climate crisis, a senior climate official with the Ministry of Ecology and Environment said.

In an interview with China Daily, Sun Zhen, a leading official with the ministry's department of climate change, stressed global warming was "a common challenge facing all humanity". The climate crisis requires countries around the world to unite and work together to address it, he noted.

Against this backdrop, BRICS nations have always been concerned about the common future of humankind. They have not only proactively responded to climate change, but also actively participated in the global multilateral process of climate governance, he noted.

BRICS is the grouping of the major emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. During the 15th BRICS Summit in August in South Africa, BRICS leaders agreed to invite Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to join the BRICS group. The six countries' membership will take effect on Jan 1.

Sun said that following President Xi Jinping's proposal at the 13th BRICS Summit in September 2021, China hosted the first BRICS high-level meeting on climate change in May last year.

At the gathering, BRICS nations adopted a joint statement on climate change, reaching a wide range of consensus on accelerating low-carbon and climate resilient transformation, advancing the multilateral process on climate change, and strengthening unity and cooperation in response to global warming, Sun continued.

The joint statement said, for instance, that BRICS nations reaffirm the role of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its 2015 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 the Paris treaty.

Last year marked the 30th anniversary of the Convention, Sun said. At this important juncture, BRICS nations sent a strong message that they will further strengthen unity and cooperation in tackling climate change, jointly safeguard multilateralism and multilateral rules, enhance mutual learning in climate policies and actions, and promote practical international cooperation in addressing climate change.

The official especially highlighted climate cooperation between China and South Africa.

Witnessed by Xi and his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa, China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment and South Africa's Ministry of Department of Environmental Affairs signed a memorandum of understanding between the two governments on cooperation on climate change in 2018.

The two sides will conduct cooperation on such priority areas as carbon emission trading, green and low-carbon urbanization, carbon capture, utilization and sequestration technologies, collection of greenhouse gas information, and the management of a greenhouse gas database, according to the MOU. They will also strengthen capacity building in the area of climate change.

As part of its efforts to implement the MOU, China provided online training courses on climate change for more than 30 officials and experts, most of whom are in posts concerning climate change, from July 24 to 28 this year, Sun said.

The Ministry of Ecology and Environment hammered out a tailored curriculum for these officials and experts and provided courses themed on China's policies and strategies for addressing climate change, climate investment and financing, carbon markets and climate adaptation, he stated.

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