Wednesday September 19, 2018
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Modi pitches strong for UNSC reforms, outlines green goals

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

New York: In an address on Friday at the UN Sustainable Development Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi insisted  for reforms in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to maintain its relevance and credibility as an international body. He underpinned the need for proper representation in the core UN body so that countries can strive to reach their goals more effectively.

credit: www.ndtv.com
credit: www.ndtv.com

Speaking in Hindi, Modi, also outlined India’s goals for fighting climate change and said he is hopeful that  developed countries would make separate provisions for fighting climate change without slotting it under the head of development.

Making a strong pitch for reforms in the UNSC and it expanded membership, Modi said, “Change is necessary in the UNSC in order to maintain its relevance and credibility, so that with proper representation countries like India can strive better for its goals”

Modi spoke of the need for reducing dependence on energy so that the world can strive towards ‘sustainable consumption’. He suggested a global education programme for preparing future generations so that they can protect the environment and make it sustainable.

“I hope that developed countries will fulfil their financial commitments towards development and climate change without in anyway putting the two under the same head,” he said.

Modi outlined India’s climate change goals saying he represents a culture that calls the Earth ‘mother’ and that India over the next seven years will create 175 GW of renewable energy capacity.

“I represent that culture that calls the earth Ma… the Vedas says that the Earth is the mother and we are its sons,” he said in Hindi at the summit.

He said that India has outlined ambitious programmes to fight climate change. Besides creating 175 GW renewable energy capacity, the country would also stress on energy efficiency, tree plantation, coal tax, clean environment, cleaning up of rivers, waste to wealth movement and sustainable development.

He outlined the government’s programmes towards financial inclusion, saying 180 million new bank accounts had been opened, which he termed as the biggest empowerment for the poor. He said the government was working towards a Pension Yojana to ensure pension reaches the poor.

Modi said earlier only the private sector or public sector were highlighted, but his government has focused on the ‘personal sector’, like individual enterprise through micro finance, innovation, start ups, creating opportunities and providing clean water, power, health, education, hygiene for all– everything that is needed to live a decent life.

He said the government has fixed a time limit for the programmes, and added that women empowerment is a major part of his government’s policy through Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao  (Save the girl child, educate the girl child), which the government has turned into a household mantra; another feature was to make agriculture more remunerative by connecting fields to markets.

Modi said his government was taking steps to mitigate the agrarian crisis, revive the manufacturing sector, improve the services sector, stress on investments in the infrastructure sector and focus on creating smart cities, which are sustainable and the centres of development.

He said India’s path is linked to sustainable development as it is linked to India’s tradition of calling the earth Ma.

He said in the UN international cooperation should be at the centre of sustainable development and to fight climate change.

“The principle of common but differentiated responsibilities is the bedrock of our enterprise for a sustainable world,” he stressed.

He called for international partnership to fight climate change.

(With inputs from IANS)

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A Weakened Hurricane Florence Is Still Dangerous

The weather forecasters are predicting an additional 10 to 15 centimeters of rain to fall in hardest hit area in southeastern North Carolina

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Hurricane Florence
A member of the North Carolina Task Force urban search and rescue team wades through a flooded neighborhood looking for residents who stayed behind as Florence continues to dump heavy rain in Fayetteville, N.C. VOA

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper says the risk to life is “rising with the angry waters” as what is left of Hurricane Florence dumps tons of rain across the state.

“Wherever you live in North Carolina, be alert for sudden flash floods. Pay attention to the weather warnings and be ready to head for safer ground if you’re asked to evacuate,” Cooper warned residents during Sunday news conference.

“Never drive through flooded roads. Just a few inches (centimeters) of water can wash your car away. And that is already happening out there.”

Florence is now a tropical depression, but continues to dump buckets of rain on parts of the southeastern United States as it slowly creeps toward the mid-Atlantic.

 

Hurricane Florence
Susan Hedgepeth is assisted along with her dog Cooper by members of the U.S. Coast Guard in Lumberton, N.C., Sept. 16, 2018, following flooding from Hurricane Florence. Hedgepeth was moved to higher ground. VOA

 

At least 16 people have been killed. Entire towns are completely cut off by floodwaters. Major highways are covered and more than 700,000 homes have no power. Many parts of North Carolina are under a tornado watch.

Top sustained winds are still a brisk 55 kilometers and one meteorologist says Florence is “still a catastrophic, life-threatening storm.”

 

Hurricane Florence
A pickup is submerged in floodwaters in Lumberton, N.C., Sept. 15, 2018, in the wake of Hurricane Florence. VOA

 

Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Brock Long told Fox News Sunday “This is going to be a long, frustrating event” for those who have lost their homes or face substantial damage when they eventually are able to return.

It said the storm will continue to “produce heavy and excessive rainfall,” endangering towns and cities in its path.

 

Hurricane Florence
Members of a combined New Bern/Greenville swift water rescue team Brad Johnson, left, and Steve Williams rest after searching for people stranded by floodwaters caused by the tropical storm Florence in New Bern, N.C. VOA

 

One of the hardest hit cities in North Carolina was New Bern, a riverfront city not far from the coastline. Mayor Dana Outlaw said the city, hit by a three-meter storm surge at the height of the storm on Friday, has 4,200 damaged homes.

Across North Carolina, 26,000 people were being housed in 157 shelters after escaping their homes in advance of the flood waters.

 

Hurricane Florence
Floodwaters were rising near businesses in LaGrange, N.C., as Tropical Storm Florence pounded the area. VOA

 

The White House said President Donald Trump would visit the storm-ravaged region in the coming days, but only after it is determined his arrival would not disrupt continuing rescue and recovery efforts.

The hurricane agency said it expects Florence will dump up to another 25 centimeters of rain on central and western North Carolina, on top of the 38 to 50 centimeters that has already fallen on the region. It said the additional rain will “produce catastrophic flash flooding, prolonged significant river flooding, and an elevated risk for landslides in western North Carolina and far southwest Virginia.”

Hurricane Florence
A work truck drives on Hwy 24 as the wind from Hurricane Florence blows palm trees in Swansboro N.C. VOA

Further to the south, the weather forecasters are predicting an additional 10 to 15 centimeters of rain to fall in hardest hit area in southeastern North Carolina, where the storm dumped 75 to 100 centimeters of rain after crashing into the state’s coastline on Friday as a Category 1 hurricane.

Also Read: The Wrath Of Seas And Climate Change

Because the storm virtually stalled after hitting the shoreline, it has dumped record amounts of rain on the mid-Atlantic region, pulling warm water from the ocean. Storm surges, flash flooding and wind have left a path of destruction, with hundreds of thousands of people unable to return to their homes until floodwaters recede, which is expected to take days in many instances. (VOA)