The founding conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) has seen interesting arguments from the leaders of India and France. While jointly inaugurating the ISA, the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and the French President, Emmanuel Macron, expressed their different views at Rashtrapati Bhavan with 22 Heads of States and Governments, including Presidents of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka as well as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in attendance.
'The Vedas consider the Sun as the soul of the world, it has been considered as a life nurturer. Today, for combating climate change, we need to look at this ancient idea to find a way,' Modi said. 'To promote the use of solar energy, the availability of technology and development, economic resources, reduction in prices, development of storage technology, mass manufacturing, and innovation require a complete ecosystem.'
In his opening remarks, Modi presented a 10-point action plan to make solar energy and technology affordable through concessional financing for all developing nations. ISA aims to generate over 1,000 GW of solar capacity and mobilise investment of over $1 trillion by 2030 for developing countries. India is committed to generating 175 GW from renewable energy sources by 2022.
Alluding to the US President Donald Trump, Macron said some countries left the Paris Climate Accord while others 'decided to act and keep acting'. 'We should not forget that we only have one planet and we are sharing it and for that there are no alternatives. There is a joint destiny which means we also have some joint duties.' France has pledged nearly USD 862 million of additional loan and donations for solar projects in emerging economies by 2022.
Macron and Modi also jointly inaugurated Uttar Pradesh’s largest solar plant in Mirzapur.
The outcome document Delhi Solar Agenda notes that ‘renewable energy is an important pathway to a less carbon-intensive, more efficient and more sustainable energy system’ and seeks ‘to pursue an increased share of solar energy in the final energy consumption’ of respective national energy mix of member countries. Of the prospective 121 plus members, 61 have so far signed up for the inter-governmental body while 32 countries have ratified the ISA framework till date.