Source: LiveMint.com, Oct 15, 2020
NEW DELHI: India and France were re-elected as the president and co- president respectively of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) for a two-year term at its third assembly that began Wednesday.
According to an ISA statement, representatives of Fiji and Nauru were chosen as the vice-presidents for Asia Pacific Region of the first treaty-based international government organization headquartered in India. While Mauritius and Niger will be the vice-presidents for Africa Region; UK and Netherlands will hold this responsibility for Europe. Also, Cuba and Guyana assumed the vice presidency for Latin America and Caribbean region.
Co-founded by India and France, ISA has been viewed as a counterweight against China’s ambitious One Belt One Road initiative that seeks to invest billions of dollars in infrastructure projects including railways, ports and power grids across Asia, Africa and Europe. Indian state-run firms on their part have been trying to leverage ISA to land projects in its member nations under the Coalition for Sustainable Climate Action (CSCA) initiative.
“The Assembly also approved the initiatives of the ISA Secretariat in institutionalizing ISA’s engagement with the private and public corporate sector through the Coalition for Sustainable Climate Action (CSCA). Ten public sector organisations in India presented a cheque for 1 million USD each at the assembly,” the statement added.
The ISA framework agreement was opened for signing up at the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) at Marrakesh. The idea of a solar alliance of countries that receive sunshine for around 300 days in a year was mooted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Other prominent intergovernmental organisations in the energy sector include the Vienna-headquartered Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA).
ISA has 70 countries as members and an additional 20 countries are in the process of becoming members. It is holding its third assembly virtually from 14 October to 16 October, which was attended by 53 member countries on Wednesday.
“The Co-President of the Assembly Ms Barbara Pompili, France’s Minister for Ecological Transition underlined that ISA played an essential role to help redirect funding towards renewable energies, particularly in developing countries, and take up the challenge of an energy at the service of all,” the statement said.
Membership to the ISA was earlier limited to 121 countries, which were partially or entirely located within the tropics. This membership was later extended to include all 193 members of the United Nations.
ISA is also working on the roadmap for mobilizing $1 trillion by 2030 to finance 1,000 GW solar capacity by 2030.
“The roadmap will examine ways to exploit opportunities in a post-COVID world to build back better and the role of international cooperation in taking solar power to investment scale. The roadmap shall be prepared in duration of 14 months and in two phases,” said ISA Director General Upendra Tripathy in an interview to Mint.
The first phase of the roadmap was presented by the ISA secretariat in the third assembly.