BRICS Ministers Meetings

2020 Russia meeting: Documents

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BRICS Environment Ministers meeting statement on July 30, 2020


(30 July 2020, Moscow)

(1) We, the Environment Ministers of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa participated in the 6th BRICS Environment Ministers Meeting on 30 July 2020 via videoconference under the presidency of Russia.

(2) It is with great pleasure that we note that Russia’s chairmanship of BRICS coincides with the celebrations to mark the 75th Commemoration of the End of World War II and the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations.

(3) We are meeting at a difficult time, when the world is in the middle of a joint fight against COVID -19. The fact that the pandemic has reached all corners of the Earth reminds us not only of our vulnerability, but also of the need to unite, to support and help each other in the face of the destructive power of the pandemic. We are learning from this experience and we will take the growing globalization of the risks and responsibilities to the environment and human health into account in our daily lives.

(4) We express our concern that the impact of COVID -19 pandemic poses a serious challenge to achieving the aspirations of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) when the world is expected to be entering the decade of action. The COVID -19 pandemic has heightened social vulnerabilities, resulting in significant job losses, particula rly in the informal sector which has been most affected and that providing adequate means of support to this sector is crucial.

(5) We call for initiatives to improve the environment, promote the Circular Economy in the context of sustainable patterns of production and consumption to be included in national plans for economic recovery after COVID -19. We also undertake to share country experiences in developing national economic recovery programmes to keep moving towards sustainable development whilst addr essing
the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment which have been exacerbated by the impacts of the Pandemic.

(6) We also reaffirm our commitments to enhancing international cooperation on climate chang e to ensure full and effective implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), its Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement guided by the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective cap abilities, in the light of different national circumstances. We stress that COP26 should send a strong signal on the implementation of UNFCCC and its Paris Agreement and delivery of commitments. We also recognize that COP26 offers an opportunity for countr ies to collaborate and share knowledge on climate -positive economic recovery packages.

(7) We also note that the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15) which was scheduled to take place in Kunming, People’s Republic of China in October 2020 has b een postponed due to the COVID -19 pandemic. We acknowledge the importance of working together to

adopt the Post -2020 Global Biodiversity Framework at CBD COP15, including implementation of support mechanisms.

(8) We are pleased to note that the environm ental cooperation programme within BRICS that was launched in 2015 has completed its first full cycle, and we are starting a new cycle today.

(9) We welcome the work that has already been done – the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Environme ntal Cooperation between the BRICS Member States and the establishment of the necessary cooperation mechanisms, most notably the BRICS Environmentally Sound Technology (BEST) Platform and its associated Working Group, which have been filled with new initi atives put forward by the BRICS member countries: the BRICS Clean Rivers programme; the BRICS Partnership on Urban Environmental Sustainability Initiative (PUESI) and the preparation of Best Available Technologies reference guides for key industries. On t he regular basis we undertake to exchange of experience and best practices in the legislative regulation in the field of environmental protection biodiversity conservation, and climate change.

(10) We believe it is of fundamental importance that we deve lop existing areas of development within the BEST Platform, imbuing them with practical focus and setting clear expectations in terms of the results we would like to see. To this end, we have invited experts to create a “matrix” that indicates specific activities, timeframes and expected results. We propose a review of the initial results of this work at forthcoming BEST Platform meeting which we plan to hold before our next meeting. The BEST Platform set up virtually could serve as an invaluable mechanism to facilitate the exchange of information views and sharing of the best practices on BRICS countries including post COVID -19 environment/sustainable development recovery programmes.

(11) We express our gratitude and appreciation to the Russian Federation for hosting the 6th BRICS Environment Ministers Meeting and welcome the invitation of the Republic of India to host the next meeting in 2021.

(12) We commit to continue our collective efforts towards achieving our shared goals of environmental protection, sustainable development, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. We recognize that our cooperation within BRICS provides a unique opportunity to advance these goals and contribute to global efforts towards a more sustainable future.

We look forward to the successful implementation of our agreed initiatives and to our continued collaboration towards a more sustainable and resilient future for our countries and the world.

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