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Industry to go low-carbon path to fight climate change: Javadekar

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United Nations, Sep 24 Indian Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Prakash Javadekar has said that industry has undertaken to go on the low-carbon path to fight climate change but availability of affordable technology poses a problem.

Javadekar said on Monday that the UN’s Industry Transition Track for tackling climate change will work with various countries to solve the problem through joint efforts and research.

Those dealing with low profits on technologies for transitioning to low-carbon emissions by industries are “very much essential to bring us to low carbon path”, he said.

India and Sweden co-lead the Industry Transition Track for ensuring industries move to low carbon emission manufacturing.

Javadekar and Sweden’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Environment Isabella Lovin briefed reporters along with industry representatives about the track, which is one of nine specialised groups to promote the fight against climate change and achieve the goals of the Paris climate accord.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier at the Climate Action Summit said the track’s “Leadership Group” will provide opportunities for cooperation in the area of technology innovation and develop low carbon pathways for industry.

Javadekar said that India and Sweden will continue to lead this group from the front and will ensure collaboration by more countries and help industries learn from each other’s experience.

“The good news is that industry is ready,” he said.

During the two days of preparations for the Climate Action Summit convened on Monday by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, heavy industries offered to “do their bit on their own without any incentive or outside help” to follow the low-carbon path, Javadekar said.

Javadekar gave examples of industries in India adopting low-carbon technologies.

Dalmia Industry is today’ world’s lowest carbon-emitting cement industry and they are working on a plan of carbon capture and use, he said.

Kochi Airport is completely solar-powered and the SpiceJet airline has already used bio-fuels Bombardier planes and now they are preparing Boeing aircraft to use the fuel, he said.

Asked about Guterres’s demand for completely stopping the use of coal, he said: “We are taxing coal production so money generated is also available for startups and innovation because that is where the solutions will be found and then there can be a transition to an affordable technology.”

The chairman of the executive board of ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe, Premal Desai, said that his company was working to transition from using carbon fuels to hydrogen for making steel.

Middle East

‘US troops withdrawing from Syria to western Iraq’

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US troops from Syria

Washington, Oct 21 : US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said roughly 1,000 US troops withdrawing from the northeastern Syria will be repositioned into western Iraq, according to a transcript released by the Pentagon.

“The US withdrawal continues apace from northeast Syria. Again, we’re talking weeks not days. We want to be very deliberate and very safe as we go about it,” Esper told reporters on Saturday en route to Afghanistan, according to the transcript released on Sunday.

According to Xinhua news agency, based on the “current game plan,” those forces, which are about 1,000, will be repositioned into western Iraq to help defend the war-torn country and perform a counter-the Islamic State (IS) mission, the Pentagon chief added.

The United States has been withdrawing around 1,000 US troops from northern Syria amid Turkey’s military operations targeting the Kurdish forces in several parts of northeast Syria launched about two weeks ago.

US President Donald Trump said last week that the US troops leaving Syria will remain in the Middle East region to “monitor the situation,” while a small number of US forces will remain at At Tanf Garrison in southern Syria to counter the remnants of the IS.

The United States and Turkey reached an agreement on Thursday over a five-day truce in northern Syria.

According to the pact, Washington will help facilitate an “orderly withdrawal” of Kurdish-led troops from what Ankara has termed as a “safe zone” on the Syrian-Turkish border.

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Russia and the United States must normalise diplomatic missions: Russian FM

Lavrov expressed regrets the US Congress stood in the way of US President Donald Trump’s efforts to bring relations with Russia back on track.

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Sergei Lavrov

Moscow, Oct 21 : Russia and the United States must normalize the work of each other’s diplomatic missions, and Moscow is ready to do that on the basis of the “zero option” plan, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

“When we understood that sanctions are not only not frozen or lifted, but are also expanding and deepening, we also responded and insisted that the number of American diplomats in Russia and Russian diplomats in the US be equal,” Lavrov said in an interview with Rossiya-1 TV channel, according to the transcript of the interview published by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

In March 2018, Russia announced the decision to expel 60 US diplomats and close the US consulate general in St. Petersburg, in retaliation to Washington’s move to expel 60 Russian diplomats and intelligence officials in the United States.

Lavrov expressed regrets the US Congress stood in the way of US President Donald Trump’s efforts to bring relations with Russia back on track.

“I repeat, we are ready at any time to resolve these issues on the basis of the ‘zero option’ and return to the normal functioning of our diplomatic institutions,” Lavrov said.

He said that he had already discussed the issue with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman, who understands that “sometime we must return to this. The sooner, the better.”

The “zero option” refers to an American proposal for the withdrawal of all Soviet and United States intermediate-range nuclear missiles from Europe.

On August 2, Russia and the United States formally withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty after accusing each other of violating the landmark arms control deal.

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Middle East

Iran’s nuclear industry ‘indigenised’: Official

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Iran Nuclear Power Plant

Tehran, Oct 21 : Iran’s nuclear industry has been entirely indigenised, a senior official at the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) said.

“One hundred percent of Iran’s nuclear industry activities has been indigenized and, today, we are self-sufficient in designing and manufacturing various kinds of centrifuges,” Ali Asghar Zare’an, special assistant to the AEOI head, was quoted as saying by Press TV on Sunday.

According to Xinhua news agency, Zare’an said, “Once others were not willing to give us a single centrifuge or see a centrifuge spinning, but now, thousands of centrifuges are running at (Iranian) Natanz and Fordow (nuclear) facilities.”

Iran is now producing the raw material of yellowcake domestically and this move has greatly increased “the bargaining power at the international level,” he added.

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