Saturday October 20, 2018

Twelve India-Vietnam agreements signed, Construction of Patrol boats being one of them

One agreement was signed with L&T for utilising $100 million of the $500 million defence line of credit India offered to Vietnam to build patrol boats

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Hanoi, September 03, 2016: From health to defence, 12 agreements were signed on Saturday by India and Vietnam following delegation-level talks headed by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and his Vietnamese counterpart, Nguyen Xuan Phuc here.

“12 for togetherness! India & Vietnam sign a dozen agreements for further strengthening the Strategic Partnership,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.

One agreement was signed with L&T for utilising $100 million of the $500 million defence line of credit India offered to Vietnam to build patrol boats.

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MoUs were signed for cooperation in the field of health, mutual recognition of standards, cooperation between the Vietnamese Academy of Social Science and the Indian Council for World Affairs, cooperation in the field of cyber security, and cooperation in information technology.

An agreement was signed on cooperation in exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes.

Another agreement was signed on sharing of white shipping information while another called for setting up a sustainable IT infrastructure for advanced IT training.

One agreement on cooperation in UN peace-keeping operations.

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Agreements were also signed on double taxation avoidance and celebrating 2017 as the “Year of Friendship” to mark 45 years of India-Vietnam diplomatic ties.

Modi arrived here on Friday ahead of his visit to China to attend the G-20 Summit to be held on September 4-5.

This is the first bilateral prime ministerial visit from India to Vietnam in 15 years since the visit of then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2001. (VOA)

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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)