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Australia Serious About Tackling Climate Change: Prime Minister Morrison

Pacific nations have debts of about $4 billion. Creditors include the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, while $1 billion is owed to China.

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Australia, Climate
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is presented with a gift as he arrives in Port Vila, Vanuatu, Jan. 16, 2019. VOA

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has wrapped up a three-day trip to the South Pacific to reassure vulnerable island nations that Canberra is serious about tackling climate change.

Morrison told Pacific Island leaders that Australia would meet its international obligations to reduce carbon emissions in line with the Paris climate change agreement.

Many low-lying communities fear that rising sea levels will force them from their homes. In Samoa, coastal villages are already making plans to relocate to higher ground in the nation’s volcanic interior.

Morrison’s three-day trip to Vanuatu and Fiji has been described by foreign policy experts as mostly a success.

great barrier reef, Climate
A large piece of coral can be seen in the lagoon on Lady Elliot Island, on the Great Barrier Reef, northeast of Bundaberg town in Queensland, Australia. VOA

Coal a sticking point

But climate change remains a source of friction between Australia and its smaller neighbors. Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama criticized Canberra for not doing more to cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the economy’s reliance on coal. Australia has some of the world’s highest per capita rates of carbon pollution.

Australia is also eager to counter China’s growing strategic influence in the South Pacific, although Morrison insists all countries should work together.

“We are here because we are for the independent sovereignty and prosperity of Vanuatu because they are our Pacific neighbors and family. That is why we are here,” he said. “Our objectives and our motives here, I think, are very transparent to our family and friends here in the Pacific, particularly here in Vanuatu. This question is put to me all the time. I mean, we do not have to choose. We just have to work cooperatively together.”

Australia, Meat free,Hurricane, climate change, economic
Tire tracks left by a truck can be seen in a drought-stricken paddock on Kahmoo Station property, located on the outskirts of the southwestern Queensland town of Cunnamulla in outback Australia, Aug. 10, 2017. (VOA)

Australia has also mended a previously fraught relationship with Fiji. Prime Minister Bainimarama is a former commander of the Fijian military who deposed an elected government in 2006. Democracy was restored to Fiji, an archipelago of about 900,000 people, in 2014.

Also Read: Australia’s Maribyrnong Detention Center Gets Closed

Countering China

Pacific nations have debts of about $4 billion. Creditors include the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, while $1 billion is owed to China.

Experts say that some South Pacific countries have preferred to take out loans from China rather than accept grants from Australia because the process was simpler and less bureaucratic. (VOA)

Next Story

Huawei Releases Atlas 900, World’s Fastest Artificial Intelligence (AI) Training Cluster

We will keep investing with a strategy that focuses on four key areas

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Huawei, Atlas 900, World
The future of computing is a massive market worth more than two trillion US dollars. Pixabay

Chinese tech giant Huawei on Wednesday released Atlas 900, the world’s fastest Artificial Intelligence (AI) training cluster which would help to make technology more readily available for different fields of scientific research and business innovation.

“The future of computing is a massive market worth more than two trillion US dollars. We will keep investing with a strategy that focuses on four key areas. We will push the boundaries of architecture, invest in processors for all scenarios, keep clear business boundaries, and build an open ecosystem,” said Ken Hu, Huawei’s Deputy Chairman.

Atlas 900 combines the power of thousands of Ascend processors. It takes Atlas 900 only 59.8 seconds to train ResNet-50, the gold standard for measuring AI training performance. This is 10 seconds faster than the previous world record, the company said in a statement.

Huawei also deployed Atlas 900 on Huawei Cloud as a cluster service, making extraordinary computing power more broadly accessible to its customers across different industries.

Huawei, Atlas 900, World
Chinese tech giant Huawei on Wednesday released Atlas 900, the world’s fastest Artificial Intelligence (AI) training cluster which would help to make technology more readily available. Pixabay

The company has offered these services at a great discount to universities and scientific research institutes worldwide.

Huawei estimates that in the next five years, statistical computing will become the mainstream and AI computing will account for more than 80 per cent of all computing power used around the world.

In addition, the company announced its flagship Kirin 990 System on Chip (SoC) will be available in India soon.

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The Kirin 990, which is also the world’s first 5G-integrated mobile chipset, is also the first mobile SoC to come with 10.3 billion transistors, thus making it incredibly fast and efficient. (IANS)