BRICS Countries in International Climate Policy

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The article presents an analysis of the BRICS countries’ climate policies at the global and national levels. The authors consider the positions of these states within the framework of both international climate conferences (Conference of the Parties) held under the auspices of the UN since 1992, and the summits of BRICS member states in the years 2011-2020. The paper covers strategies and results of national climate policies implemented in these countries. Using structural, comparative, and content analysis methods, the authors emphasize that BRICS countries play a key role in stabilizing the climate of our planet today. It is impossible to achieve the main aim of the Paris Agreement without a comprehensive transformation of environmental practices in these societies. BRICS adheres to the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” in its position towards international climate policy; the BRICS countries stand for sustainable economic growth through the introduction of new environmental technologies, and against restrictive measures that impede their economic development. At the same time, the Russian economy’s dependence on the extraction and export of fuel resources complicates environmental transformation. Russia is dominated by a negative narrative of climate change, where the urgent ecological modernization of the economy is seen as a threat to key sectors (oil and gas) of the economy. The implementation of international agreements to reduce the carbon intensity of the Russian economy, the creation of conditions for the transition to climate-neutral technologies, would contribute not only to the fight against global climate change, but would become a powerful incentive for the modernization of the economy, accelerating innovation and increasing its competitiveness.

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Table 1. Major Groupings of Countries in International Climate Diplomacy

 Country grouping


Сountries from Annex 1 to the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN FCCC)

All industrialized and emerging economies of Eastern Europe

Countries of Annex 2 to the UN FCCC

Only OECD countries

Countries not included in Annex

All developing countries

African states

53 African countries

Least developed countries in the world

50 states

Group 77 and China

143 states of Asia, Latin America, Africa and Oceania (including India, Brazil, South Africa)


By initial letters of the names of countries included in grouping: Japan, USA, Switzerland, Canada, Australia, Norway and New Zealand

Umbrella group

JUSSCANNZ plus Ukraine and Russia


Association of Small Island States, 43 countries, some of them are members of 77 Group


Oil exporting countries, 12 states


Brazil, India, South Africa and China

Source: Reimer N. Schluss-Konferenz. Geschichte und Zukunft der Klimadiplomatie. Oecom Verlag. München, 2015. P. 188.


About the authors

Yuri Yurievich Kovalev

Ural Federal University named after First President of the Russian Federation B.N. Yeltsin

Author for correspondence.

PhD in Geographical Sciences, Associate Professor, Chair of Theory and History of International Relations, Department of International Relations, Ural Humanitarian Institute

Yekaterinburg, Russian Federation

Olga Sergeevna Porshneva

Ural Federal University named after First President of the Russian Federation B.N. Yeltsin


PhD, Dr. of Sc. (History), Professor, Head, Department of Theory and History of International Relations, Ural Humanitarian Institute

Yekaterinburg, Russian Federation


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Copyright (c) 2021 Kovalev Y.Y., Porshneva O.S.

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