Who will take the lead on global climate action?

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24 December 2018

Since the election of President Trump and the announcement of US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, there has been an opportunity for other countries to take a leadership position on climate change. 

This year, Dr Christian Downie of ANU School of Regulation and Global Governance, published research looking at the role that Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (known as BRICS) could take in global climate governance. 

There has been a lot of focus on the rising power of the BRICS as, despite their economic, political and strategic differences, they have managed to co-operate in ways that have exceeded expectations.   

“This research is useful because it analyses where BRICS could scale up their co-operation, particularly around energy efficiency, agriculture and development finance," said Dr Downie.     

“Having said that, BRICS policymakers need to overcome significant differences in their interests in order to collaborate, which is why these three areas are so important.”   

Despite these differences, Dr Downie believes there is potential for BRICS to achieve tangible action on climate change.    

“One option is for policymakers to build bilateral relationships that could be the basis for co-ordinated action, for example between China and India,” he said.

The research was co-authored by Prof Marc Williams from UNSW.  Read the full paper here