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FRANCE AND INDIA LAUNCH INTERNATIONAL SOLAR ALLIANCE AT ONSET OF COP21

12/07/2015

French President Francois Hollande and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched an international solar alliance at the onset of the Paris COP21 climate summit. The alliance includes more than 120 countries and was described by Modi as “the sunrise of new hope, not just for clean energy but for villages and homes still in darkness, for mornings and evenings filled with a clear view of the glory of the sun.” The goal is to bring clean and affordable solar energy to everyone. The majority of the countries involved are tropical, solar-rich nations. In light of the failure of the 2009 Copenhagen summit, the United Nations is placing as much importance on the work of individual governments to combat climate change as on a central U.N. agreement. India’s national plan places a strong focus on solar energy with an aim to have a capacity of 100 gigawatts by 2022. India has 300 million people living without electricity and large stockpiles of coal, which leaves the country questioning in which resources to invest. The solar initiative will mobilize public finance from richer states in order to deliver universal energy access. Initially, the Indian government is investing $30 million to set up the headquarters in India with a goal of raising $400 million from international agencies and membership fees. The project involves companies such as Areva, Engie, Enel, HSBC France, and Tata Steel. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon situated the initiative in the context of the UN’s sustainable development goal of achieving universal access to sustainable energy by 2030. For the full story see, http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/nov/30/india-set-to-unveil-global-solar-alliance-of-120-countries-at-paris-climate-summit and http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-climatechange-summit-solar-idUKKBN0TI0QN20151129