New Delhi: Research and development priorities, cooperation on innovation and a work plan for the next three years were discussed on Tuesday in the ongoing third BRICS ministerial meeting in Moscow, an official statement said.
Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan led the Indian delegation to the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) two-day ministerial meeting on science, technology and innovation (STI) in Moscow which began on October 27.
“BRICS research and development priorities, innovation cooperation within BRICS, a work plan for 2015-2018 on science, technology and innovation for cooperation among BRICS countries were discussed today (Tuesday). Discussions also took place on Moscow ministerial declaration to be made at the meeting,” a science and technology ministry statement said here.
The five countries also gave a brief report on activities in their respective “leadership areas” at the meeting, it added.
Earlier, the BRICS countries had identified leadership areas to be taken by each one of them.
Climate change and natural disaster mitigation was to be led by Brazil; water resources and pollution by Russia; geospatial technologies and its applications by India; new and renewable energy and energy efficiency by China; and astronomy by South Africa.
The conference would also discuss exchange of information on STI policies and strategies, it said.
The European Union agreed Monday to a goal of cutting carbon emissions from cars by 37.5 percent in a decade, finally settling differences between vehicle-producing countries and environmentally-conscious lawmakers.
The 28-nation bloc has been divided for months over how strict to be on CO2 emissions from vehicles as part of its push to reduce greenhouse gases overall by 40 percent by 2030.
Germany, with the EU’s biggest auto sector worth some 423 billion euros ($480 billion) in 2017, had warned tough targets and the drive toward more electric cars could harm its industry and cost jobs.
Representatives of the European Parliament and the EU countries finally struck a compromise Monday, after nine hours of talks, to cut emissions from cars by 37.5 percent and vans by 31 percent by 2030 compared with 2021.
There was also agreement on an interim target of a 15 percent cut for both cars and vans by 2025.
“This is an important signal in our fight against climate change,” said current EU president Austria’s Sustainability Minister Elisabeth Koestinger.
But Brussels-based green lobbying group Transport & Environment expressed disappointment the deal was not even more ambitious.
“Europe is shifting up a gear in the race to produce zero-emission cars. The new law means by 2030 around a third of new cars will be electric or hydrogen-powered,” said its clean vehicles director, Greg Archer. “That’s progress, but it’s not fast enough to hit our climate goals.”
The compromise was tougher than the original EU executive proposal of an emissions decline of 30 percent compared to 2021.
Germany had endorsed that, but a push by several EU countries, including the Netherlands and France, raised the target for EU countries to 35 percent. The EU Parliament had wanted 40 percent, so in the end, they split the difference.
The German automobile association (VDA) said the new legislation would set high demands while doing little to promote or provide incentives for switching to electric vehicles.
EU countries were among nearly 200 that agreed Saturday to rules for implementing the 2015 Paris climate accord at a U.N. conference in Poland.
“Today’s successful outcome is even more important in view of this weekend’s conclusions … in Katowice. It clearly shows, once again, our unwavering commitment to the Paris Agreement,” EU Climate Commissioner Arias Canete said.
EU countries are separately considering the extent to which truck emissions should be cut, with a debate due Thursday. (VOA)