Glasgow: In a big boost to accelerate global adoption of solar energy, John Kerry U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate announced at the UNFCCC COP26 today that the United States of America (USA) has joined the International Solar Alliance (ISA) as a member country. U.S becomes the 101st country to sign the framework agreement of the ISA to catalyse global energy transition through a solar-led approach.
Signing the 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 more rapid deployment of solar globally. It will be particularly important for developing countries.”
Union Cabinet Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Mr Bhupender Yadav said, “We welcome the United States of America as the 101st member of the ISA. This move will strengthen the ISA and propel future action on providing a clean source of energy to the world.”
Dr. Ajay Mathur, Director General, the ISA said, “The US’ endorsement of ISA’s framework and approach is an 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 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 was first circulated for countries’ support in 2016. The framework emphasises delivering global relevance and local benefit to all countries through collaborations, with ISA’s key interventions focusing on readiness & enabling activities, risk mitigation & innovative financing instruments to facilitate the promotion and deployment of solar technologies in target markets. The approach and methods detailed in the framework have already delivered results, with ISA building a solar project pipeline of nearly 5 GW installed capacity. The approach detailed in this framework will culminate in a vision for interconnected global grids, which was formalized and jointly launched as the ‘Green Grids Initiative – One Sun One World One Grid’ (GGI-OSOWOG), during the World Leaders Summit of the COP26 in Glasgow on 2nd November 2021 by the UK Presidency of COP26 and India Presidency of International Solar Alliance (ISA).
Earlier at COP26, the United States also joined the Steering Committee of the GGI-OSOWOG comprising of 5 members – USA, Australia, France, the United Kingdom, and India — and endorsed the One Sun Declaration along with 80 countries. United States of America’s Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm had said that “the Grid-Sun combination will save the planet. The GGI-OSOWOG is focusing on the two most important pieces of the puzzle. We at the US Department of Energy are happy to be a partner with GGI-OSOWOG.”
U.S.’ endorsement of the ISA framework follows remarks by U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry at the Fourth General Assembly of ISA in October 2021, where he had said that ISA is critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and has an opportunity to accelerate Solar’s growth with member countries blessed with the world’s strongest sunlight. Stating that, “Solar energy is at the heart of the urgent climate action,” Mr. Kerry urged nations to take dramatic action to keep the 1.5-degree Celsius temperature rise and mid-century net zero emissions targets within reach. He had added that President Biden recognized the clean energy potential of Solar in achieving U.S.’ newly-proposed NDC of reducing its economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52% by 2030. He also cited the US Department of Energy’s recently published roadmap for generating 40% of the country’s electricity supply with 1000 GW of installed solar capacity, and so facilitating a completely carbon free electric power sector in the U.S., by 2035.”
The launch of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) was announced by H.E. Mr. Narendra Modi, the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India and H.E. Mr. Francois Hollande, former Hon’ble President of France on 30th November 2015, at the 21st session of United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP-21) in Paris, France. Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon attended the launch, alongside the Heads of about 120 nations who affirmed their participation in the Alliance to dedicate efforts for promotion of solar energy.