24/09/2021 - 08:00

Australia-India emissions technology deal

24/09/2021 - 08:00

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Australia and India expect to seal an interim trade agreement by the end of the year following a meeting on the sidelines of global Quad talks.

Scott Morrison and his Indian counterpart have discussed a trade agreement. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

Australia has struck an agreement with India to support low-emissions technology sharing between the two nations.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison met with Indian leader Narendra Modi in Washington ahead of the first face-to-face Quad talks which will include the leaders of Japan and the US.

A new Australia-India technology partnership will focus on hydrogen development and ultra low-cost solar programs to help reduce carbon emissions.

Mr Morrison said India's economic growth needed to be supported alongside global ambitions to tackle climate change.

"Unless we can get the technology transformation occurring in developing countries, then I fear that the ambitions that so many have for addressing climate change will be frustrated," he told reporters in the US.

"If we want to make a difference on climate change, we've got to make a difference everywhere, not just in advanced economies."

Australia is inching towards a commitment to net zero emissions by 2050 amid immense international pressure in the lead-up to United Nations climate talks in Glasgow in November.

The prime minister said he wanted to ensure the developing world made a transition to cleaner energy through technology.

"Australia will certainly do our bit, and the bit we're doing in particular is to meet and beat the commitments that we've made," he said.

Mr Modi released a communique after the meeting saying the leaders underlined the need to urgently address climate change and agreed over the possibilities for clean technology.

"In this regard, prime minister Modi highlighted the need for a broader dialogue on environment protection," it said.

The leaders also discussed defence co-operation and trade agreements ahead of a ministerial meeting next week.

Trade Minister Dan Tehan will meet with Indian counterpart Piyush Goyal with Mr Morrison and Mr Modi keen for an ambitious approach particularly on digital agreements.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott travelled to India in August on behalf of Australia to follow up stalled Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement negotiations.

Mr Modi reiterated his invitation for Mr Morrison to visit India.

"The prime ministers agreed that as two vibrant democracies in the region, the two countries needed to work closer together to overcome the challenges in the post-pandemic world."

Australia's prime minister was due to visit India in January last year but cancelled his trip because bushfires were raging across the nation.

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