Having partnered on the global supergrid initiative, the United States of America (USA) has also joined the International Solar Alliance (ISA) as a member country. The announcement was made by John Kerry, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, at the UNFCCC COP26. With this, the USA has become the 101st country to sign the ISA framework agreement to catalyze global energy transition through a solar-led approach.
The ISA is an inter-governmental treaty-based international organization with a mandate to catalyze global solar growth by helping to reduce the cost of financing and technology for solar. It aims to mobilize more than $1 trillion of solar power investment by 2030 to address the issues of energy access, energy transition, and energy security in emerging markets and developing economies.
Signing the ISA framework agreement, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, said, “It has long been coming, and we are happy to join the International Solar Alliance, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the lead in making. We worked out the details and this is a process we are pleased to be a part of. This will be an important contribution to the more rapid deployment of solar globally. It will be particularly important for developing countries.”
India’s union cabinet minister for environment, forest & climate change, Bhupender Yadav welcomed the United States of America as the 101st member of the ISA, saying the addition will strengthen the ISA and propel future action on providing a clean source of energy to the world.
Ajay Mathur, Director General, the ISA said, “The US’ endorsement of ISA’s framework and approach is a heartening development, especially as our 101st member nation, which is a significant milestone in itself, demonstrating that nations across the world are recognizing the economic and climate mitigating value of solar, as well as this energy source’s potential as a catalyst for the global energy transition. We are now even more committed to translating this confidence into tangible projects and developments on the ground, accelerating the momentum of solar adoption that has been built so far. We hope remaining nations and economies will follow suit, and align with us to achieve swift, affordable, and effective climate action, while also achieving their respective economic growth and long-term development priorities.”
The framework, first circulated for countries’ support in 2016, emphasizes delivering global relevance and local benefit to all countries through collaborations. ISA’s key interventions focus on readiness and enabling activities, risk mitigation, and innovative financing instruments to facilitate the promotion and deployment of solar technologies in target markets.
The framework has already delivered results, with ISA building a solar project pipeline of nearly 5 GW installed capacity. It envisions a transnational network of solar power grids. This project, known as the ‘Green Grids Initiative – One Sun One World One Grid’ (GGI-OSOWOG), was launched recently by the UK Presidency of COP26 and India Presidency of the ISA.
The GGI-OSOWOG initiative aims to harness solar energy wherever the sun is shining, ensuring that generated electricity flows to areas that need it most.
The United States has joined the Steering Committee of the GGI-OSOWOG, which also includes Australia, France, the United Kingdom, and India as member countries.
The ISA was launched by India’s prime minister Narendra Modi and former president of France Francois Hollande on November 30, 2015, at the 21st session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP-21).
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