A Roundtable Discussion «Environmental Conservation and Сombating Climate Change: What Can BRICS Offer The World?» Took Place in Moscow

On April 18, HSE University hosted a round table on «Environmental Conservation and Combating Climate Change: What can BRICS Offer The World?»

The event was moderated by Igor Makarov, Ph.D. in Economics, Head of the HSE Department of World Economy, Head of the Working Group on Sustainable Development, Human Well-Being, Environmental and Food Security of the BRICS Expert Council–Russia.
The participants of the meeting examined the most acute problems in the field of combating climate change that the BRICS countries and the World majority face. The countries of the group are the world’s largest contributors of emissions, therefore, the development of unified approaches in this regard plays a critical role not only for the countries of the World majority, but also for all humankind. Coordinated BRICS actions in the fight against climate change can bring real results that will be tangible all over the world, Igor Makarov noted.

«One of the goals is to try to understand and offer ideas on how to enhance cooperation in the field of fighting climate change. However, the BRICS countries have a very different picture of the biological balance, therefore an easy and universal solution for biodiversity and climate issues doesn’t exist.»

The system of environmental approaches and metrics of the BRICS countries is not fully sovereign in its current state. Environmental policy is based on Western-centric research centers, which causes significant inaccuracies and does not correlate with the interests of the countries of the group. In this regard, Igor Makarov proposed to create the BRICS Climate Research Agency, which can be a foundation for consolidated efforts of the group. It may also help to build a sovereign and effective policy to reduce emissions and combat climate change, according to Igor Makarov. The expert proposed to establish the BRICS Declaration on the Principles of International Climate Cooperation as a policy document, which will allow all members to conduct multilateral and productive activities.

Considerable attention was paid to the problem of biodiversity conservation. In this regard, the countries of the group are urged to develop common approaches to assessing biodiversity and unify strategic doctrines on its preservation. The establishment of the BRICS Climate Research Platform was proposed, the structure that will allow members to effectively cooperate in this field.

Follow-up discussions will continue at the national level in both face-to-face and online forms and will subsequently involve representatives from the BRICS states.

The round table was held as part of the work of the BRICS Expert Council–Russia, established in implementation of the Russian Government's mandate at HSE University at the initiative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Finance. The Council is responsible for providing information, analytical, and expert support, for the Russian BRICS chairship in 2024 and is engaged in expert, analytical, and scientific activities on relevant issues of political, socio-economic, and humanitarian cooperation within the alliance. The head of the BRICS Expert Council–Russia is HSE Vice Rector Victoria Panova.