June 23 (UPI) -- A Russian natural resources minister said Friday that an association of five major emerging national economies was committed to the Paris climate deal.
Nuritdin Inamov, the director of international cooperation at the Russian Department of Natural Resources, said during a meeting for BRICS nations in China that member states were committed to addressing climate issues.
"Participants of the meeting declared that they would continue to observe the provisions of the Paris agreement on climate change," he was quoted by Russian news agency Tass as saying.
BRICS refers to Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, five economies that account for about 20 percent of the world total gross domestic product.
Russian joined more than 170 other countries in April 2016 by signing the agreement at the U.N. headquarters in New York. Russian Natural Resources Minister Sergei Donskoy said ratification of the Paris Agreement was anticipated by 2020.
"There is explicit support of the Paris accord [among BRICS members]," Inamov said.
A 2014 filing to the United Nations found Russian emissions were pegged in large part to the pace of economic growth.
Former U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed last year to collaborate on climate change by signing agreements outlined in the Paris deal, a deal President Donald Trump has questioned. A report early this year from consultant group Frost & Sullivan found the economies in Asia would accelerate faster on the clean-energy front than the United States.
"As the participants are ministers and other senior officials of BRICS countries in charge of environmental issues, a joint statement of this kind sends a clear signal to the whole world," Inamov said.