Научные исследования экономического факультета. Электронный журнал.

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Lazarus, C., Godwell, N., David, C., Malebajoa, A. M. BRICS and the Race to Net-Zero Emissions by 2050: Is COVID-19 a Barrier or an Opportunity? (trans. from Eng. Beletskaya, M. Yu.)

DOI: 10.38050/2078-3809-2023-15-4-92-126

Abstract

The emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) have significant influence on the global economic and environmental trajectories. They have carbon intensive economic systems, which contribute significantly to total global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, leading to climate change. However, BRICS have joined the race to net-zero emissions by 2050 in the quest for a climate neutral and sustainable global economy. The journey, however, is not without challenges and opportunities. The proliferation of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) had mixed reactions from scientists regarding its implications on net-zero trajectories. While statistical data show a correlation between COVID-19 and a decrease in total emissions, it is envisaged that COVID-19 compromised the efforts to develop carbon neutral economies. Hence, there is still a need for more scientific examination of COVID-19's impact on net-zero ambitions, especially in the emerging economies. This study focuses on India and South Africa's trajectories. Statistical analysis of secondary data from authentic interactive web-based dashboards for COVID-19 data repositories, namely Our World in Data and Climate Action Tracker was performed in conjunction with the document analysis approach following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) methodology. Some of the COVID-19 challenges as indicated by the results of the study include curtailing the technology transfer staircase in the energy sector, retaliatory emissions for recovery and resource diversion. The opportunities presented by COVID-19 in the quest for carbon neutrality include behavioral changes in investment, production and consumption patterns with a focus on low carbon options. Governments and stakeholders need to focus on addressing the barriers whilst riding on the opportunities presented by the pandemic to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

Keywords: BRICS, climate change, COVID-19, GHGs, India, net-zero emissions, South Africa.

JEL: Q01, Q5.

For citation: Lazarus, C., Godwell, N., David, C., Malebajoa, A. M. BRICS and the Race to Net-Zero Emissions by 2050: Is COVID-19 a Barrier or an Opportunity? (trans. from Eng. Beletskaya, M. Yu.) Scientific Research of Faculty of Economics. Electronic Journal, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 92-126. DOI: 10.38050/2078-3809-2023-15-4-92-126.

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