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UNFCC COP26 International Solar Alliance has the USA as its 101st member country

Nov 12, 2021

In a big boost to accelerate global adoption of solar energy, John Kerry, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate recently announced at the UNFCCC COP26 that the United States of America (USA) has joined the International Solar Alliance (ISA) as a member country. US becomes the 101st country to sign the framework agreement of the ISA to catalyse global energy transition through a solar-led approach.

International Solar Alliance (ISA) recently announced the USA as its 101st member country. The announcement was made at the UNFCC COP26 in Glasgow after signing the framework agreement of the ISA to catalyse global energy transition through a solar-led approach.

International Solar Alliance (ISA) recently announced the USA as its 101st member country. The announcement was made at the UNFCC COP26 in Glasgow after signing the framework agreement of the ISA to catalyse global energy transition through a solar-led approach.

Signing the framework agreement, John Kerry, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, the United States of America, stated, “It has long been coming, and we are happy to join the International Solar Alliance, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the lead in making. We worked out the details and this is a process we are pleased to be a part of. This will be an important contribution to more rapid deployment of solar globally. It will be particularly important for developing countries.”

Welcoming the new member country, Bhupender Yadav, Union Cabinet Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, India, acknowledged, “We welcome the United States of America as the 101st member of the ISA. This move will strengthen the ISA and propel future action on providing a clean source of energy to the world.”

Expressing his thoughts, Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General, the ISA, added, “The US’ endorsement of ISA’s framework and approach is a heartening development, especially as our 101st member nation, which is a significant milestone in itself, demonstrating that nations across the world are recognising the economic and climate mitigating value of solar, as well as this energy source’s potential as a catalyst for global energy transition. We are now even more committed to translating this confidence into tangible projects and developments on the ground, accelerating the momentum of solar adoption that has been built so far. We hope remaining nations and economies will follow suit and align with us to achieve swift, affordable and effective climate action, while also achieving their respective economic growth and long-term development priorities.”

The framework was first circulated for countries’ support in 2016. The framework emphasises delivering global relevance and local benefit to all countries through collaborations, with ISA’s key interventions focusing on readiness & enabling activities, risk mitigation & innovative financing instruments to facilitate the promotion and deployment of solar technologies in target markets. The approach and methods detailed in the framework have already delivered results, with ISA building a solar project pipeline of nearly 5 GW installed capacity. The approach detailed in this framework will culminate in a vision for interconnected global grids, which was formalised and jointly launched as the ‘Green Grids Initiative – One Sun One World One Grid’ (GGI-OSOWOG), during the World Leaders Summit of the COP26 in Glasgow on November 2, 2021, by the UK Presidency of COP26 and India Presidency of International Solar Alliance (ISA).

Earlier at COP26, the United States also joined the Steering Committee of the GGI-OSOWOG comprising five members – USA, Australia, France, the United Kingdom and India — and endorsed the One Sun Declaration along with 80 countries. Deliberating his thoughts, Jennifer Granholm, Secretary of Energy, United States of America, explained, “The Grid-Sun combination will save the planet. The GGI-OSOWOG is focusing on the two most important pieces of the puzzle. We at the US Department of Energy are happy to be a partner with GGI-OSOWOG.”

US' endorsement of the ISA framework follows remarks by Kerry at the Fourth General Assembly of ISA in October 2021, where he had said that ISA is critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and has an opportunity to accelerate solar’s growth with member countries blessed with the world’s strongest sunlight. Stating that, “solar energy is at the heart of the urgent climate action,” Kerry urged nations to take dramatic action to keep the 1.5oC temperature rise and mid-century net zero emissions targets within reach. He had added that President Biden recognised the clean energy potential of solar in achieving US’ newly proposed NDC of reducing its economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52% by 2030. He also cited the US Department of Energy's recently published roadmap for generating 40% of the country’s electricity supply with 1000 GW of installed solar capacity, and so, facilitating a completely carbon free electric power sector in the US by 2035.

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