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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - LONDON: Members of the BRICS alliance have called for greater global uptake in renewable energy as a means to not only tackle climate change but global economic inequalities.
BRICS countries were responsible for 55 percent of solar capacity added to the international grid in 2023.
While China led the way, adding 40 percent of new capacity, Brazil, India and South Africa also found themselves among key producers.
Gao Jifan, chair of Chinese solar manufacturer Trina Solar, told the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday that the developments made by BRICS nations will benefit the whole world.
“The UAE, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states have ambitious plans for renewable energy development, and developing renewables isn’t just about climate change but also achieving green development, and so also about reducing poverty,” he said.
“These countries are world leaders, and their contribution in spreading green technology will better stimulate a green transition.”
UAE Economy Minister Abdulla bin Touq Al-Marri said his country’s decision to become a BRICS member was motivated by the need to engage in a “fragmented” world.
“We aren’t living in a Cold War environment anymore, and so joining BRICS wasn’t about taking a political stance, but rather is part of an economic plan, as a way of engaging trade, traders, and supply and demand,” he added.
“In the fragmented world in which we’re living, (BRICS) is creating new ways of dealing and to really grow economies moving forward.”
Smriti Irani, India’s minister of women and child development, said the economic bloc is working toward an “agenda of growth, an agenda of inclusion.”
She touted the success of India, which has experienced three years of 7 percent growth in terms of gross domestic product.
“As an Indian, I believe we’ve proven the point of growth, reform and social justice,” she said. “When we landed on the dark side of the moon, it wasn’t a celebration of India alone, it was about cooperation in space tech. BRICS is the place to be as a bridge between the Global North and the Global South.”
While the UAE is among the latest additions to the bloc, South Africa’s Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana said there remains scope for further expansion.
Asked whether there was a driving or deciding force behind the decision to invite a further six nations to join the group, he said: “The issue of expansion wasn’t something that emerged last year. It has been a continuing debate.”
He added: “Those discussions consider expanding at both an economic and political level, and then key issues concern how to mobilize members’ savings to ensure creation of a better development agenda.”
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