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Solar Summit begins at Rashtrapathi Bhaban in India

Solar Summit begins at Rashtrapathi Bhaban in India

'We all have obligations to protect a world that must be shared, ' said Macron during his speech in the First Summit of the International Solar Alliance (ISA).

"Our priorities are often underpinned by developmental goals of our individual countries".

The Summit, which was attended by 25 heads of state and government, provided a dedicated platform for co-operation amongst solar resource-rich countries.

He, along with Macron, who is on a four-day visit to India, co-chaired Sunday's conference.

"We have set up a project preparation facility consultancy support to partner countries in designing bankable projects". France is not the world's best innovator in green energy, but it still is one of the best.

To this end, and in keeping with Ghana's commitments under the Paris Agreement, the President outlined some solar energy programmes for implementation by 2030, which include the attainment of utility-scale solar electricity from about 22.5 megawatts to 250 megawatts. Macron recently even promised jobs for people in environment technology.

With this, India and France together would be challenging the companies of China, the pioneer of ISA. "To this endeavour, we look forward to the unlocking of a new dynamic in renewable energy with support from and solidarity among the member countries of ISA", said President Hamid. On the other hand, India needs new partners within the European Union that will help trade and investment.

As a climate diplomacy tool for India, ISA has crucial administrative challenges to tackle at home.

The Alliance is a treaty-based global body for the promotion of efficient exploitation of solar energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. But we hardly see the MEA being dedicated full-time on this front.

"Driven by remarkable cost declines, innovative policies and new business models, solar energy has emerged as the fastest growing renewable energy worldwide".

But now, under pressure from local manufacturers, India plans to slap a safeguard duty on solar equipment imports, ignoring the fact that it lacks domestic manufacturing capacity to meet the equipment requirements of the envisaged capacity addition in solar. No surprise, India's procurement regime for solar equipment is under the scanner. It was an outreach to countries of the global south to fill the crucial demand for affordable, reliable, clean energy crucial to improving living standards and way out of poverty for millions.

ISA is the first ever treaty recognised by the United Nations and is headquartered in India, thus putting the onus of success on India's shoulders. "Through our presence, we seal an alliance to make the energy of the sun accessible to everyone".

Modi said India will provide 500 training slots to the ISA member countries every year. Referring to the Solar Mamas, a group of women solar engineers from developing countries particularly African countries who have been trained at the Barefoot College in Tilonia, Macron said, "our solar mamas didn't wait for us". This is an opportunity for India to play a larger role in Africa.

However, a source in the MEA said, "India's efforts at foreign policy can not be exclusively looked at from "the China-prism".

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