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MH370 wreckage to be found in Australia’s search zone

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Canberra:  Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Friday said that the wreckage from missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 will be found in Australia’s search zone in the southern Indian Ocean.

Photo Credit- www.fameimages.com
Photo Credit- www.fameimages.com

Bishop said this week’s news of debris washing up on Reunion Island off the east coast of Africa pointed to the wreckage being somewhere within the 120,000 square kilometer search area off the west coast of Australia, Xinhua reported.

“We at least seem to have some evidence that flight MH370 will be found, particularly in the search area that (Australia) has been focusing on,” she said.

Bishop said Australia has an important role in finding the jet, not only to provide closure to the families of those missing, but also to reinstate faith in civil aviation to those who travel frequently.

“We believe it is important for international civil aviation, generally, for us to determine what happened to this flight, as well as provide the opportunity for families of those on-board to have some closure,” she said.

MH370 went missing on March 8 last year with 239 people on-board, most of them Chinese nationals.

Bishop said Australia had pledged another $40 million US to the search, but calculating who was contributing what to the hunt was not the pertinent issue.

“This is one of the great aviation mysteries of our time, and for the purpose of safety, security, faith, and trust in the civil aviation system, we must do what we can to find MH370,” she told.

(IANS)

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Australia Rejects U.N. Climate Report, Continues Using Coal

Australia is the world's driest inhabited continent.

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Australia, Coal
The Liddell coal-fired power station is seen in the Hunter Valley, north of Sydney, Australia. VOA

Australia is rejecting the latest U.N. report on climate change, insisting coal remains critical to energy security and lowering household power bills.

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in its report released Monday that global greenhouse gas emissions must reach zero by the middle of the century to stop global warming exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The authors warned that if warming was allowed to reach two degrees, the world would be on course toward uncontrollable temperatures.

Climate change, Australia
The coal-fired Plant Scherer, one of the nation’s top carbon dioxide emitters, stands in the distance in Juliette, Georgia. VOA

They made special mention of coal, insisting that its use for power generation would have to fall to between zero and two percent of current usage.

The report has received a lukewarm response by Australia’s center-right government. It has said it has no intention of scaling back fossil fuel production because without coal, household power bills would soar.

Canberra also insists it is on target to meet its commitments under the Paris agreement, which attempts to unite every nation under a single accord to tackle climate change for the first time ever.

Australia earns billions of dollars exporting coal to China and other parts of Asia, while it generates more than 60 percent of domestic electricity.

Queensland, Australia
FILE – A dead tree stands near a water tank in a drought-stricken paddock located on the outskirts of the southwestern Queensland town of Cunnamulla in outback Australia, Aug. 10, 2017. (VOA)

Australia’s Environment Minister Melissa Price believes the IPCC report exaggerates the threat posed by fossil fuel.

“Coal does form a very important part of the Australian energy mixer and we make no apology for the fact that our focus at the moment is on getting electricity prices down,” Price said. “Every year, there is new technology with respect to coal and what its contribution is to emissions. So, you know, to say that it has got to be phased out by 2050 is drawing a very long bow.”

Australia has some of the world’s highest per capita rates of greenhouse gas pollution. A recent government report showed a failure to reduce levels of greenhouse gas pollution. The survey said that between January and March this year, Australia had its most elevated levels of carbon pollution since 2011.

Coal, Australia
Workers operate machines at a coal mine at Palaran district in Samarinda, Indonesia (VOA)

Conservationists argue Australia is doing too little to protect itself from the predicted ravages of a shifting climate.

Also Read: Use Every Resources To Help in Climate Change: Scientists

Australia is the world’s driest inhabited continent. Scientists warn that droughts, floods, heat waves, brush fires and storms will become more intense as temperatures rise, with potentially disastrous consequences for human health and the environment, including the Great Barrier Reef. (VOA)