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US, Russia block UN panel report on climate change

These nations are climate villains and they must be opposed by the rest of the world, instead, they have found a steadfast ally and co-conspirator in the world’s most powerful country, the US, he said.

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File Pic of US President Donald Trump and Russian President Putin

Katowice (Poland), Dec 9 : The US, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait have blocked the other 193 assembled countries in this Polish city from “welcoming” the recent IPCC report, even though the report had been requested by the earlier UN climate summit in Paris in 2015.

The US had even rejected the science itself, standing alone among all the world’s countries in refusing to endorse the findings of the report.

Reacting to this development, Mohamed Adow, Christian Aid’s International Climate Lead, said: “Saudi Arabia, Russia, Kuwait and especially the United States are rogue nations.

“These four major fossil fuel producers are working together against the interests of the rest of the world and jeopardising the chances of a safe climate.

“They show disregard for the wellbeing of the most vulnerable people on the planet. Climate change even threatens the future of their own people and yet they act to suppress scientific warnings.

“I had hoped that Saudi Arabia was undergoing reform and this was their chance to demonstrate it. But they have shown they don’t care about human rights, people or the planet.”

These nations are climate villains and they must be opposed by the rest of the world, instead, they have found a steadfast ally and co-conspirator in the world’s most powerful country, the US, he said.

Regarding the US pro-coal side event taking place on Monday at the ongoing UN climate summit, known as COP24, he added: “With great power comes great responsibility, and yet the US has failed to take this responsibility seriously. President Trump’s actions threaten the lives of many of the poorest people around the world.

“The scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) have shown that coal is the cause of our climate crisis and needs to be left in the ground, not touted at meetings designed to solve the suffering it has caused. The fact President Trump’s America is holding a pro-coal event at the climate summit underlines his utter ignorance and recklessness,” he added.

(Vishal Gulati is in Katowice at the invitation of Climate Trends to cover the 24th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as COP24. He can be contacted at [email protected])

India

Cabinet clears India’s stance at climate change meet

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New Delhi, Nov 27 : The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved the negotiating stand of India at the forthcoming 25th Conference of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The meet is scheduled to be held in Madrid, Spain (under the Presidency of Chile) from December 2-13.

India will look to engage in negotiations with a constructive and positive outlook and work towards protecting its long-term development interests.

India has been ambitious in its actions and has emphasised that developed countries should take lead in undertaking ambitious actions and fulfil their climate finance commitments of mobilising $ 100 billion per annum by 2020 and progressively and substantially scale up their financial support to inform parties for future action through Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).

India will further stress upon need for fulfilling pre-2020 commitments by developed countries and that pre-2020 implementation gaps should not present an additional burden to developing countries in the post-2020 period.

The Indian delegation will be led by Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar. The COP 25 is an important conference as countries prepare to move from pre-2020 period under Kyoto Protocol to post-2020 period under the Paris Agreement.

India’s approach will be guided by principles and provisions of the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement particularly the principles of ‘Equity and Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capability’ (CBDR-RC), according to an official statement.

It said that India’s leadership on climate change has been evident and well recognised across the globe. “Government of India has been undertaking several initiatives to address climate change concerns under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and these initiatives reflect India’s commitment and ambition towards climate action”, the statement added.

In the recently held Climate Action Summit convened by the UN Secretary General, the Prime Minister announced India’s plan on scaling up of renewable energy target to 450 GW and called for responsible action by all on the principles of equity. India has been leading the world in its pursuit of enhanced solar energy capacity through International Solar Alliance (ISA).

In addition to the ISA, two new initiatives have been launched by India as part of its efforts to mobilise world on climate action. These include ‘Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure’, which will serve as a platform to generate and exchange knowledge on different aspects of climate and disaster resilient infrastructure.

The Leadership Group for Industry Transition has been launched jointly by India and Sweden, which will provide a platform for government and the private sector in different countries to work together on accelerating low carbon growth and cooperation in the area of technology innovation.

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India

Alternative Water Route to the North-East will boost Economic Development: Mansukh Mandaviya

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Mansukh Mandaviya

New Delhi, Nov 25: In a reply to a question in Rajya Sabha on Monday, the Minister of State for Shipping (I/C) and Chemicals & Fertilizers, Mansukh Mandaviya stated that a Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade (PIWTT) exists between India and Bangladesh since 1972.

Under this protocol, Inland Vessels of one country can pay on the designated Waterways routes of another country. There are specified inland water routes and equal number of Ports of call in each country for Exim trade through the Inland Water Transport (IWT). The said protocol is valid up to 05th June, 2020 with a provision of automatic renewal after 5 years. The North eastern States are connected with the mainland through Inland waterways of Brahmaputra (NW-2) and Barak (NW-16) with Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hoogly river system (NW-1) via Sunderbans (NW-97) through the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) route.

For strengthening round the year navigation on Indo-Bangladesh Protocol route, Mandaviya also informed the House that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between India and Bangladesh on 8thApril, 2017 for fairway development of Sirajganj-Daikhowa stretch of Jamuna river and Ashuganj-Zakiganj stretch of Kushiyara river in Bangladesh. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 305.84 crore on a cost sharing ratio of 80:20 between India and Bangladesh.

Shri Mandaviya, further explained that under the MoU Agreement and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), Bangladesh has allowed use of its Chattogram and Mongla Ports for transit movement of our goods through waterways, rail, road or multi-modal transport in its territory. There are eight routes provided under the Agreement which would enable access of North East region (NER) via Bangladesh. These identified routes allow entry/exit to Agartala and Srimantpur in Tripura, Dawki in Meghalaya and Sutarkandi in Assam, and hence the alternate transport connectivity would boost huge Economic Development in the NER, the Minister concluded.

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India

Congress govt helped curb air pollution in Delhi: Sonia

Sonia Gandhi also mentioned Indira Gandhi’s contribution towards environment protection.

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Sonia Gandhi in Cong meeting

New Delhi, Nov 19 : Delhi is fighting its worst pollution menace with air quality plummeting to severe levels in November, interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi said on Tuesday.

She said the Congress government in Delhi had tried to reduce carbon emissions of vehicles by implementing CNG.

While speaking on the occasion of conferring the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development, Sonia Gandhi said: “We who live in the capital, notorious now as the world’s most polluted city, can recall the difference in air quality when compressed natural gas (CNG) was introduced for public vehicles.”

“This transformation was made possible by the persuasive expertise of the CSE and the Congress government of the day,” she said.

The award was conferred to the Centre for Science and Environment founded by Anil Agarwal and headed by Sunita Narain.

Sonia Gandhi also mentioned Indira Gandhi’s contribution towards environment protection.

“In late 1971, even while being completely engrossed in the grave crisis on India’s eastern border with Pakistan, she found time to initiate action that would lead to the passage of the landmark law to protect our wildlife. In the midst of all political crises, she found time to launch various conservation programmes of which Project Tiger has become the most iconic.

“She was the only foreign head of government to address the first UN conference on Human Environment in Stockholm in June 1972. Her speech there still reverberates. Indeed, it was in that speech that Indira Gandhi most powerfully and eloquently linked the three themes of today’s prize, peace, disarmament and development,” Sonia Gandhi said.

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