More than 20 countries sign International Solar Alliance

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The International Solar Alliance (ISA), brainchild of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, moved to a next level when more than 20 countries, including India, France and Brazil, signed its framework agreement on Tuesday – the first day when it was opened for signature here on side-lines of the UN climate conference (COP22) on Tuesday.

More countries are expected to join it formally in coming weeks. The ISA – a collective voice of sunshine rich nations – will enter into force once 15 countries ratify it after completing their respective domestic processes. It will help these countries to bargain their positions as a group to get low cost finance and technology to boost solar energy.

The ISA was launched at the UN climate change conference (COP21) in Paris on November 30 last year by PM Modi and French President Francois Hollande after the former had given a call to all solar resource rich countries to form a coalition to specifically address energy needs by tapping solar energy from the sun. This alliance provides a platform for 121 prospective member countries to collaborate and address the identified gaps through a common agreed approach.

Welcoming the countries move to sign the ISA framework agreement within 11 months of its launch, India’s environment minister Anil Madhav Dave said, “The ISA activities have increased significantly and many initiatives are under implementation. With legal framework in place, the Alliance will be a major international body, headquartered in India”.

Speaking about the importance of such a global alliance, Dave said, “Creating common buyers’ market for solar finance, technology, innovation and capacity building will lead to higher quality and lower cost products”.

The Alliance is expected to achieve the objective of the Paris Agreement which emphasizes on moving towards renewable energy. The Alliance has been envisioned as a dedicated platform which will contribute towards the common goal of increasing utilization and promotion of solar energy and solar applications to help the world transition to a low-carbon and greener society.
“This is a good initiative to aggregate demand, improve quality and reduce the cost of solar energy in developing countries. However, achieving these objectives will require confidence in ISA. Countries participating in ISA must believe that they are benefiting from this agreement. And, this will only happen if the Alliance is able to mobilize resources to support developing countries upscale the installation of solar projects”, said Chandra Bhushan, deputy director general of the New Delhi-based think-tank Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).

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