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INDIA

Bosch announces $400-million diesel engine project in India

The Indian arm of German engineering giant Bosch said Monday it would invest more than $400 million over two years to expand in the country's fast-growing diesel engine market.

Bosch announces $400-million diesel engine project in India
Photo: DPA

“India is witnessing a strong increase in demand for diesel engines,” the company, a major maker of diesel injection systems, said in a statement. “The diesel engine consumes 30 percent less fuel than the gasoline engine, while common-rail technology reduces the pollutant emissions of diesel engines, thus making it possible to meet strict emission standards.”

Bosch introduced common-rail fuel injection systems in India in 2006, the statement said, adding nearly a quarter of the new investment would be earmarked for research.

India is Asia’s third-largest car market after China and Japan, where Japanese-owned Maruti Suzuki holds a commanding lead. Indian car sales are expected to cross two million units next year.

Bosch Automotive Group chairman Bernd Bohr told a press conference that sales in India grew by five percent to 68 billion rupees ($1.4 billion) in 2009.

India, which currently accounts for about five percent of the company’s global auto business, is likely to account for seven to nine percent of its total auto business by 2017, he said.

“India is a very important market for us, and it has been profitable as well,” Bohr added.

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CLIMATE CRISIS

Scorching summer was France’s second hottest on record

Three heatwaves since June produced France's second-hottest summer since records began in 1900, the Météo France weather service said on Tuesday, warning that scorching temperatures will be increasingly common as the climate crisis intensifies.

Scorching summer was France's second hottest on record

With 33 days of extreme heat overall, average temperatures for June, July and August were 2.3C above normal for the period of 1991-2020.

It was surpassed only by the 2003 heatwave that caught much of France unprepared for prolonged scorching conditions, leading to nearly 15,000 heat-related deaths, mainly among the elderly.

Data is not yet available for heat-related deaths this summer, but it is likely to be significantly lower than 15,000 thanks to preventative measures taken by local and national authorities. 

Most experts attribute the rising temperatures to the climate crisis, with Météo France noting that over the past eight summers in France, six have been among the 10-hottest ever.

By 2050, “we expect that around half of summer seasons will be at comparable temperatures, if not higher,” even if greenhouse gas emissions are contained, the agency’s research director Samuel Morin said at a press conference.

The heat helped drive a series of wildfires across France this summer, in particular a huge blaze in the southwest that burned for more than a month and blackened 20,000 hectares. 

Unusually, wildfires also broke out even in the normally cooler north of the country, and in total an area five times the size of Paris burned over the summer. 

Adding to the misery was a record drought that required widespread limits on water use, with July the driest month since 1961 – many areas still have water restrictions in place.

MAP: Where in France are there water restrictions and what do they mean?

Forecasters have also warned that autumn storms around the Mediterranean – a regular event as air temperatures cool – will be unusually intense this year because of the very high summer temperatures. A storm that hit the island of Corsica in mid August claimed six lives. 

“The summer we’ve just been through is a powerful call to order,” Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Monday, laying out her priorities for an “ecological planning” programme to guide France’s efforts against climate change.

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