PM Modi to launch solar alliance at Paris Climate Summit

The Paris climate summit to set to begin on Monday with the world leaders aiming to forge an elusive agreement to prevent the calamity of global warming, and end more than two decades of international bickering over greenhouse gas emissions. The world’s largest democracies – India and the United States – are divided over who should share the larger blame, and therefore do the most to mitigate, over gas emissions.

PM Modi is also set to announce an international solar alliance – an international renewable energy research and development initiative – on Monday in the presence of 30 heads of state, including French President Francois Hollande.

Arunabha Ghosh, CEO of the Centre for Energy, Environment, has said that the alliance could “inspire and support several developed and developing countries to advance on a clean energy pathway by lowering financing costs, developing common standards and facilitating R and D collaborations.”

Who would be part of the alliance?

Over 100 countries falling between tropics of Cancer and Capricorn have assured their participation in the alliance for which India will be providing the initial funding of Rs 175 crore.

What does it plan to achieve?

The alliance brings together sun-rich nations for a research and collaboration initiative that has the potential to change the face of future energy access. It will be a platform to benchmark low-cost solar solutions and will provide unique investment opportunity for the developing world.

What the alliance will do for India?

The initiative places India in a more assertive and constructive position on the international stage, no longer merely accepting the politics of climate change, but now shaping them via its diplomatic and geopolitical influence.

Its impact on Paris talks?

India can reflect the spirit of this initiative via its negotiations and seek committed funding for renewable energy, which would attract more investment than coal by 2019. A global climate agreement is crucial to ensure that the solar alliance delivers and provides certainty to investors on renewables, thereby lowering the risk and reducing the cost of capital.