SEI Contact:

Karl Hallding

Mobile: +46 70 840 9218

Time-frame: 2010–2011

Emerging economies and climate change: The new geopolitics after Copenhagen

This project takes a closer look at the increasingly visible role and importance of the major emerging economies of China, India, Brazil and South Africa and their cooperation within the context of climate diplomacy.

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It seeks to better understand the factors that drive the policy approach taken by each of the BASIC countries as well as the United States to climate change, with a particular focus on how these drivers come together at international climate negotiations.

In the wake of the COP15 meeting in Copenhagen in 2009, the large developing economies of China, India, Brazil and South Africa emerged as an important set of actors in climate negotiations, and this so-called BASIC group has since received much attention.

It has become increasingly clear that the way in which the BASIC alliance develops, the degree to which it can (or cannot) coordinate a common platform on climate change and strategic alignment at the international level will have considerable implications for the future of climate negotiations, including the status and utility of the Copenhagen Accord, in contributing to a legally binding international agreement.

Building on the US-China analysis carried out during 2009, this study aims to understand the factors that drive the negotiating positions taken by the BASIC countries, in order to provide an assessment of the potential ways in which the BASIC countries may condition the possible outcomes from COP16 in Mexico and the role they may play in the lead up to COP17 in South Africa, with particular focus on the relations with EU, the U.S. and the future of the G77.

Related policy briefs
Together Alone? Brazil, South Africa, India, China (BASIC) and the Climate Change Conundrum

Shifting Sands: India’s New Approach to the Politics of Climate Change

Balancing climate concerns and energy security: China searching for a new development pathway

Shifting ground: Brazil tackles climate change and deforestation, but rapid growth, energy needs undermine progress

Washington descends deeper into climate gridlock, California and the states creep forward

Multiple Identities: Behind South Africa’s Approach to Climate Diplomacy

Related articles
- South Africa’s approach to the politics of climate negotiations (on the CDNK blog, external link)...