In a wide-ranging virtual meeting with India’s prime minister Narendra Modi on Monday, Scott Morrison underscored the mutual commitment of both nations to addressing climate change, energy security and job creation with ‘appropriate actions to reduce emissions’.
Both Australia and India’s international participation in the Quad, the G20, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and International Solar Alliance showed the nations were committed to these goals, a joint statement from the leaders said.
“[Morrison and Modi] noted the contribution of sustainable consumption and production, and resource-efficient, circular economies towards combating climate change.
“In this context, leaders noted the importance of mindful consumption, more sustainable lifestyles and reducing waste,” the statement said.
Prime minister Modi emphasised the need for a collective global movement to sustainable lifestyles that was more mindful of consumption and waste reduction.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 21, 2022
Morrison said Australia had big ambitions to strengthen its economic relationship with India and that he hoped to ‘redouble’ collaboration efforts on projects relating to science, technology, energy and critical minerals and rare earths.
“The ambition that we share and we hold for our relationship, and the pace and scale of that cooperation, since we lifted ties back in 2020, has been remarkable,” Morrison said of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between Australia and India.
“We’ve made great progress in defence, maritime cooperation, science, technology, clean energy as well, which is something I know that Australia can work together closely with India on, and I’ll be delighted today to announce some more initiatives that build on that foundation towards our post-pandemic world,” Morrison said.
The remarks come just over a month after the fourth ministerial India-Australia Energy dialogue took place between both country’s respective energy ministers where a letter of intent was signed supporting bilateral energy and resources collaboration.
The agreement aims to make low and zero emissions technologies competitive with higher emitting alternatives by lowering their cost. It also commits Australia and India to more cooperation on clean technologies, including through research and development for the required breakthroughs and forums such as Mission Innovation.
On Monday, the pm issued a 32-point document canvassing issues of bilateral agreement. The items ranged from trade, research and development, tourism, migration and space cooperation.
Some of the highlight initiatives to come from the ministerial meeting included ongoing engagement in Space programs, including ongoing support for India’s Gaganyaan Space Program. Morrison used the forum to announce a dedicated India stream of the Australian Space Agency’s International Space Investment initiative.
We’re investing more than $42 million in a series of space 🚀, science 🔭 & technology 👩💻 initiatives with India 🇮🇳 to generate opportunities for Aussie businesses and researchers to grow. For more: https://t.co/nJzgbbo5hH #Dosti pic.twitter.com/NShHMV6LdZ
— Melissa Price MP (@Melissa4Durack) March 22, 2022
Education was also a major theme of Modi and Morrison’s talks, and the leaders said a Taskforce on Education Qualifications Recognition would be created to work out a way for reciprocal acknowledgement of professional qualifications for access to higher education, and to support professional employment options. A cooperative mechanism for mutual recognition is expected to be delivered some time next year.