India’s New International Solar Alliance Will Propel Clean Energy and Protect the Climate

PARIS (November 30, 2015)—India formally launched an International Solar Alliance today at the COP21 climate negotiations as part of its effort to advance a low-carbon economy powered substantially by solar energy, demonstrating once again its global leadership in clean energy.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President François Hollande today announced the widely anticipated initiative during the first day of the international climate summit, inviting over 100 solar-rich countries to facilitate widespread implementation of solar projects and infrastructure. Countries between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn have been invited to join the ISA, including many African and Asian nations, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, France, China and the United States. Prime Minister Modi estimates $100 billion will be needed per year by 2020 to finance the clean power initiative.

Leaders from India, China and the United States will discuss this alliance and other major energy initiatives underlying “Global Climate Action” on December 10th from 11:30-13:00 in the Blue Zone at COP21. The dialogue will include a coal consumption cap in China, the International Solar Alliance and other expansive renewable energy growth and energy efficiency measures in India, and the Clean Power Plan in the U.S.

Following is a statement by Rhea Suh, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“This unprecedented international solar collaboration sets an encouraging tone as country representatives gather today to reach a new global climate agreement. India’s leading role in forming an International Solar Alliance anchors its own climate commitment to ramp up renewable energy. It also has the potential to propel international solar markets forward, all while fighting climate change, improving global health and boosting economies.”

Following is a statement by Anjali Jaiswal, India Initiative Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“Coupled with its comprehensive solar program aiming to reach 100 gigawatts by 2022, India has once again positioned itself as a global leader in clean energy. The International Solar Alliance aims to expand solar power primarily in countries that are resource-rich but energy poor, where clean energy solutions are most needed. Developing affordable solar technologies and attracting the considerable investment required to finance the envisioned solar transition are critical steps to support India and other countries to achieve their ambitious clean energy goals set as part of the Paris negotiations.”

Following is a statement by JingJing Qian, China Program Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“As the world’s solar market leader, China has much to offer and can benefit greatly from its participation in the International Solar Alliance. China has pledged to cap its carbon emissions within 15 years, primarily through transitioning to solar and wind energy to power its development. With the U.S. and China joining India, along with over 100 other nations, to support this solar alliance on the first day of the UN climate negotiations, the majority of greenhouse gas emitters are demonstrating tremendous leadership to develop sustainably while curbing climate change.”

Following is a statement by Dr. Arunabha Ghosh, CEO of the Council on Energy, Environment and Water:

“The launch of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) is a historic step for global cooperation and a much needed boost for a low-carbon future. Under India’s leadership, the ISA could inspire and support several developed and developing countries to advance on a clean energy pathway by lowering financing costs, developing common standards, encouraging knowledge sharing and facilitating R&D collaborations and co-development of technologies to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) announced earlier this year. India has emerged as the natural leader for this alliance, with its ambitious targets to install 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022, and non-fossil fuel electricity generating systems accounting for 40% of the cumulative installed capacity by 2030.”


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