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US becomes 101st member country of International Solar Alliance

The US on Wednesday became the 101st member of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), an inter-governmental organisation formed by India and France to accelerate the global adoption of solar power.

The US special envoy for climate, John Kerry, announced at the COP26 in Glasgow that the US has joined the ISA as a member country after signing the framework agreement.

“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,” Kerry said.

Union environment minister Bhupender Yadav welcomed the US as the 101st member of ISA. “This move will strengthen the ISA and propel future action on providing a clean source of energy to the world,” he said.

The ISA’s framework, which was first circulated in 2016 to obtain backing from other countries, emphasises on delivering local benefits to all countries through collaborations. The ISA’s key interventions focus on enabling activities, risk mitigation and innovative financing instruments to facilitate the deployment of solar technologies.

ISA is building a solar project pipeline of nearly 5 GW installed capacity in order to achieve a vision of interconnected global grids, which was jointly launched as the “Green Grids Initiative – One Sun One World One Grid” during the world leaders’ summit of COP26 in Glasgow on November 2 by the UK and India.

Earlier at COP26, the US joined the steering committee of the “One Sun One World One Grid” initiative that includes Australia, France, the UK and India.

ISA director general Ajay Mathur described the US endorsement of ISA’s framework as a heartening development which demonstrates that nations around the world are recognising the economic and climate mitigating value of solar energy.

“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,” Mathur said.

The launch of ISA was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then French president Francois Hollande on November 30, 2015, at COP21 in Paris. ISA has a global mandate to catalyse solar growth by helping reduce the cost of financing and technology. It helps large nations scale global commitments while assisting economically vulnerable nations to establish a self-sustaining energy alternative that reduces trade dependency and drives job creation.

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