BRIC could be a force for sustainability

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi (L) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at a press conference after talks in Ekaterinburg, Russia

TEXT OF STORY

Renita Jablonski: Meanwhile, foreign ministers from the so-called BRIC nations -- Brazil, Russia, India and China -- are in Russia today to talk about forming a political alliance. Energy, food security, and global warming top the agenda for these emerging economic powerhouses. That has some predicting a new force to be reckoned with in the global debate on climate change. From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, Sam Eaton reports.


Sam Eaton: The meetings represent the first time Brazil, Russia, India and China have met on their own. In the next few decades, their combined economies are expected to surpass those of the G-7, which includes the United States and Europe. That would give this political alliance significant international leverage.

Some political analysts see this as a threat, but Berkeley University climate policy expert Dan Kammen says it could also step up international efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Dan Kammen: They have a huge advantage in terms of Brazil's biofuels and China and India's wind and Russia's natural gas. So this is a block that could set some very aggressive targets if they want.

Stocks in the BRIC nations have risen 70 percent over the past two years. Kammen says if the countries were to coordinate their investments in clean energy, they could become not just global economic leaders, but climate leaders as well.

I'm Sam Eaton for Marketplace.

About the author

Sam Eaton is an independent radio and television journalist. His reporting on complex environmental issues from climate change to population growth has taken him all over the United States and the world.

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