Over 20 countries, including Brazil and France, have become signatories to the framework agreement of the International Solar Alliance — an initiative that is the brainchild of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The framework agreement of International Solar Alliance (ISA) was opened for signatures here on Tuesday on the sidelines of CoP22 with Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave saying that with this legal framework in place, the ISA will be a major international body headquartered in India.
Over 20 countries, including Brazil and France, became signatories to it soon after the process began, an Environment Ministry official said.
Indian climate experts termed it as a “good” initiative which will aggregate demand, improve quality and reduce cost of solar energy in developing countries but cautioned that achieving these objectives will require countries to have “confidence” in ISA.
“The Framework Agreement of ISA was opened for signature in Marrakech on the sidelines of the CoP22 to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This will make ISA an innovative, action oriented and sui generis international and inter-governmental treaty-based organisation that will be registered under Article 102 of the UN charter,” an official statement said.
ISA was jointly launched by Prime Minister Modi and French President Francois Hollande at the CoP21 in Paris last year where representatives from around 70 countries including more than 30 Heads of the States and government participated.
ISA is an initiative by India where an alliance of 121 solar resource-rich countries lying fully or partially between the tropic of Cancer and tropic of Capricorn, have come together.
The Framework Agreement will be kept open as many more countries are expected to join the ISA in the coming weeks, the statement said.
During the ceremony, Dave thanked the countries for their continued support for concretising the concept of ISA and reaching today’s milestone in the shortest possible time.
“Within 11 months of launch, ISA activities have increased significantly, and many initiatives are under implementation. With legal framework in place ISA will be a major international body headquartered in India,” he said while thanking the French government.
He said creating common buyers’ market for solar finance, technology, innovation, capacity building and others will lead to higher quality, lower costs, products better tailored to needs, collaborative innovation and technology ownership. MORE
The Framework provides for membership open to the countries between tropics (fully or partially) who are also UN members and the ISA structure will consist of two tiers in the form of an Assembly and Secretariat.
Partner country status will be granted to other countries (not within tropics) by the decision of ISA Assembly and the Framework will enter into force with ratification by 15 countries.
“An important aspect is striving to keep about the operating costs minimal and therefore not necessitate mandatory contributions,” the official statement said.
India has already offered a contribution of Rs 175 crore (around USD 27 million) for creating ISA corpus fund and for meeting the cost of ISA secretariat which is coming up in New Delhi for the initial five years.
“This is a good initiative to aggregate demand, improve quality and reduce the cost of solar energy in developing countries. However, achieving these objectives will require confidence in ISA,” said Chandra Bhushan, Deputy director general Centre for Science and Environment.
“Countries participating in ISA must believe that they are benefiting from this agreement. And, this will only happen if ISA is able to mobilise resources to support developing countries upscale the installation of solar projects,” he said.
ISA will contribute towards the common goal of increasing utilisation and promotion of solar energy and solar applications in its member countries.
The Paris declaration on ISA states that the countriesshare the collective ambition to undertake innovative and concerted efforts for reducing the cost of finance and cost of technology for immediate deployment of competitive solar generation.
Financial instruments to mobilise more than USD 1,000 billion of investments needed by 2030 will ultimately pave the way for future solar generation, storage and good technologies for countries’ individual needs, the statement said.