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What is BRICS?

Focus: GS II- International Relations

Why in News?

Recently, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, participated in the BRICS High Level Meeting held virtually.


  • The minister highlighted the relevance of the forum to jointly address climate change, to explore approaches to accelerate low-carbon and resilient transition, and to achieve sustainable recovery and development.
  •  Union Minister, in his address, underscored India’s commitment to strong climate action including the promotion of sustainable lifestyles based on mindful consumption and reduction of waste.
  • The Environment Minister informed the BRICS Ministerial that under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi how India is today leading by example by taking several robust steps in the field of renewable energy, sustainable habitats, creation of carbon sinks through additional forest and tree cover, transition to sustainable transport, e-mobility, mobilizing the private sector to make climate commitments, etc.
  • He mentioned how India has progressively continued decoupling economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions.
  • He highlighted that ambitious implementation of climate actions by developing countries is contingent on the ambitious and adequate delivery of climate finance, technology transfer, and other implementation support, as mandated by the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement.
  • He expressed optimism towards the delivery of the climate finance as per the Glasgow decision and the Climate Finance Delivery Plan released by the COP 26 Presidency.
  • BRICS Environment Ministers expressed commitment to strengthen collaboration on climate change, and broaden and deepen the contents of cooperation.
  • Further, the countries agreed to carry out policy exchanges and cooperation in areas of environment and climate change.

What is BRICS?

  • BRICS is the international grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
  • This was set up as a move towards greater multi­polarity; hence the spread across three continents and both hemispheres.
  • In terms of GDP, China occupies the second position; India the fifth; Brazil the ninth; Russia the 11th; and South Africa the 35th.
  • In terms of growth rates, China grew at 6%; India at 4.5%, Russia 1.7%, Brazil 1.2% and South Africa 0.1%.
  • BRICS does not exist in form of organization, but it is an annual summit between the supreme leaders of five nations.
  • The Chairmanship of the forum is rotated annually among the members, in accordance with the acronym B-R-I-C-S.
  • The BRICS seeks to deepen, broaden and intensify cooperation within the grouping and among the individual countries for more sustainable, equitable and mutually beneficial development.
  • BRICS takes into consideration each member’s growth, development and poverty objectives to ensure relations are built on the respective country’s economic strengths and to avoid competition where possible.
  • BRICS is emerging as a new and promising political-diplomatic entity with diverse objectives, far beyond the original objective of reforming global financial institutions.

February 2024