NEW DELHI ;
THE impact of COVID-19 poses a serious challenge to achieving the aspirations of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the BRICS nations have said and called for improving the environment and promoting circular economy in national plans as steps towards recovery. Environment Ministers of BRICS countries -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- participated in a meeting through video conference under the presidency of Russia on Thursday. At the Sixth BRICS Environment Ministers’ Meeting, the nations acknowledged that COVID-19 has heightened social vulnerabilities and resulted in significant job losses.
“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 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, particularly in the informal sector which has been most affected and that providing adequate means of support to this sector is crucial,” the BRICS countries said in a joint statement. Representing India, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javdekar stressed on the need to implement various initiatives under the BRICS and for the speedy implementation of the BRICS MoU. He also elaborated on the efforts made by India in areas relating to sustainable urban management, tackling marine litter, air pollution and the cleaning of rivers. India believes that equity, common but differentiated responsibilities, finance and technology partnerships are key pillars towards attainment of global goals of climate change mitigation and adaptation, the minister said. “India is walking the talk on Paris Agreement and its climate commitments.”
The BRICS nations called 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.” They also undertook to share experiences in developing national economic recovery programmes to keep moving towards sustainable development whilst addressing the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment which have been exacerbated by the impacts of the pandemic.