Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday underlined the importance of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) for global energy security and environment protection at its founding conference here.
Macron, meanwhile, announced a common risk mitigation mechanism to be put in place before the end of 2018.
In his address, President Macron said France would extend an extra 700 million euros ( $861.5 million) through loans and donations by 2022 for solar projects in emerging economies, he said. The government of India sanctioned 5 acres of land for ISA and also released 1.75 billion to the fund of ISA in order to build the ISA campus and also for expenditure for the first five years. But while hailing the "solar mamas", a group of women trained as solar engineers, he said the women had continued their mission to promote solar energy even after "some countries decided just to leave the floor and leave the Paris agreement".
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Till Thursday, 60 countries had signed the framework agreement of the ISA and 30 submitted the instruments of ratification. The visiting leader also met President Ram Nath Kovind and Minister of External Affairs (MEA) Sushma Swaraj .
"The desire behind that vision has always been to make solar energy accessible and affordable for the poor by addressing the various economic and technological factors that now impede such access", Ms Swaraj said delivering the welcome address of the first ISA conference here.
He also added that an encouragement to innovation is necessary so that solar solutions can be provided to various needs.
Macron's comment was an oblique reference to U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement reached in 2015 with an aim to curb global carbon emissions and slow rising temperatures. "It will move to be the No. 2 player in the next year or two", said Tim Buckley, director of energy finance studies at the Australia-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), a think tank. And we decided all together to act ...
Expressing his enormous happiness and lauding the efforts of Solar Mamas, he said, "Our solar mamas did not wait for us". They started to act to deliver concrete results.
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Modi, who welcomed Macron with a bear hug on his arrival Friday, said the accord was crucial as the Indian Ocean region would play a "very significant role" in the days to come. It was launched by India and France on the sidelines of the 2015 Paris Climate Conference.
Initially, ISA envisaged 121 sunshine countries situated between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn as its members.
According to reports, the delegation visiting the city would include representative members of African countries- Fiji, Kingdom of Cambodia, Uganda, Costa Rica, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Ethiopia, Ghana, Gwana, Burundi, Rwanda, Seychelles and South Sudan.
So far, 62 countries have signed the ISA framework agreement, out of which 32 have already ratified it. Australia, Bangladesh, Cuba, France, Ghana, India, Papua New Guinea, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Togo, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela are among those that have ratified the agreement. India also aims to achieve 40% installed power capacity from renewable energy by 2030. These targets give a clear idea of India's thrust and seriousness towards combating climate change and it comes as no surprise that it was India which is one of the prime movers for the formation of the ISA. India primarily looks at four kinds of solar -powered projects - off-grid power supply hubs, street lighting, irrigation, green buildings, in addition to everyday products like solar cookers etc.
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