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Following the signing of the historic Paris Climate Change Agreement in New York on 22 April, governments have pledged to take concerted action to lower the costs of clean energy and to unleash a potential investment flow of up to USD 1 trillion into solar assets, among a raft of other initiatives.

At the United Nations in New York, Indian Power, Coal and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal and French Environment Minister and President of COP 21 Ségolène Royal co-hosted an event on the International Solar Alliance (ISA), launched by India and France at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris last December.

Ministers and representatives from over 25 countries, including Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, the US and France, were in attendance.

Ministers and representatives from over 25 countries, including Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, the US and France, were in attendance.

In order to accelerate massive deployment of solar energy at various scales in their countries, ministers and representative from 25 countries agreed to take concerted action through targeted programmes launched on a voluntary basis, to better harmonize and aggregate the demand for:

  • Solar finance, so as to lower the cost of finance and facilitate the flow of more than USD 1000 billion investment in solar assets in member countries;
  • Mature solar technologies that are currently deployed only at small scale and need to be scaled up;
  • Future solar technologies and capacity building, through strategic and collaborative solar R&D, to improve the efficiency and integration of solar power as well as increase the number of solar applications available.

The 25 countries represented at the event included Australia, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Maldives, Mali, Namibia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Peru, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Uganda, Zambia, India and France/

Also in New York, Ministers from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Uganda, India and France jointly announced under the aegis of the International Solar Alliance the launch of the programme "Scaling solar applications for agricultural use" to bring reliable, affordable and tailored-to-needs solar applications within the reach of all farmers in their countries.

This programme is expected to serve the farming communities in the ISA member countries on several fronts including storage of agricultural produce, space and water heating, crop drying, creation of livelihood opportunities in rural areas.

In addition, the International Solar Alliance and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) pledged to cooperate to promote solar energy globally, by looking for strategic cooperation in the areas of programmatic and technical expertise.

Read more in Government of France press release, Government of India press release and a corresponding article in the The Economic Times

Photo credit: Ségolène Royal (Twitter)

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