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China, India, South Africa, Brazil (BASIC): Crucial for the global environment. Commissioned by the Norwegian Ministry of the Environment

This study, commissioned by the Norwegian Ministry of Environment, aims to assess why and how the BASIC countries (Brazil, South Africa, India, and China) are important for the global environment. The study shall also provide an overview of environmental policy in the BASIC countries.

The major emerging economies already have a crucial physical impact on the global environment, and a decisive political impact on international processes focusing on the global environment. Any agent with ambitions to promote environmentally sustainable development globally will need to understand and interact closely and in a strategic manner with the BASIC countries in the future.

In order to achieve equitable and long-term global sustainable development, it is crucial that the BASIC countries realize an environmentally sustainable development model which is able to secure economic growth while preserving biodiversity and ecosystem services to the long-term benefit of themselves and the whole planet. If not, the already negative trends of depletion of the world’s renewable resources and global warming will escalate over the next decades, with large-scale negative effects that will be felt in developing and developed countries alike.