Zhonghua Zhang, Lu Xi, Su Bin, Zhao Yuhuan, Wang Song, Liu Ya, Li Hao, Zhang Yongfeng, Ahmad Ashfaq, Shi Guang | Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
The BRICS economies group (i.e., Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) has become an important contributor to the growth of the world economy, which is increasingly concerned about carbon emissions due to the recent increase in energy use in these countries. While the embodied energy use related to emissions of the BRICS group has been discussed in the literature, an integrated analysis of energy, carbon footprints, and value added flows associated with international trade among the BRICS group has, to date, rarely been reported. Based on an improved Multi-Regional Input-Output model, South Africa was extracted from the rest of the world in the World Input-Output Database (WIOD) to analyze the above-mentioned flows embodied in trade within the BRICS countries, as well as between the BRICS group and other economies. The results show that the BRICS economic entity was a net embodied flows exporter. More flows were embodied in intermediate products than in final demand within the BRICS group. Compared with other BRICS economies, China, which is the largest transit country, transferred more embodied flows from Russia to other BRICS countries, and drove more embodied flows from major economies, including the United States and European countries outside the BRICS group than those within the BRICS group. However, China imported a relatively higher embodied energy and CO2 in per unit value added from the BRICS countries than non-BRICS countries, while exporting relative lower embodied energy and CO2 per value added to other BRICS economies than non-BRICS countries. The potential policy implications on cleaner development within the BRICS economies are discussed at the end of this paper.