CHASING THE SUN: INDIA'S “INTERNATIONAL SOLAR ALLIANCE” IN THE POST-COVID WORLD
Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Diplomatist|December 2020
Recently, India welcomed the CLMV countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA) as well as the Resilient Supply Chain Initiative by India, the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) as per the statement of the Minister of State for External Affairs, Government of India (GOI).
PREETHI AMARESH*

The ISA is an alliance of 121 nations launched by India, most of them being sunshine nations that lie either wholly or partially between the ‘Tropic of Cancer’ and the ‘Tropic of Capricorn’. In COP 25 held in 2019, India called for more expeditious development of the ISA. The purpose is to provide clean and low-cost solar power in solar-rich nations to make them self-reliant and energy secure. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that ISA was India’s “gift to the world” in the battle against climate change. In the United Nations (U.N) climate meeting at Poland in 2018, the European Union (EU) and India led ISA acknowledged a collective declaration, that climate change activists say could support India reach its renewable energy aim by 2022.

ISA is the first treaty-based international government organization headquartered in India and is being seen as a foreign policy instrument. In October 2020, India and France were re-elected as president and co-president of the ISA for a span of two years. ISA is an alternative source of energy both at the international and domestic level and over the years it has become an influential stage for evenhanded generation and dissemination of energy resources. It has been an action-oriented platform for increased disposition of solar energy technologies to heighten sustainable development and energy security to promote the path to energy in emerging or developing member nations. Recent reports suggest that the government is envisioning funding in a solar bank to support international solar development. The state-run Airports Authority of India (AAI) also plans to leverage airport contracts in ISA member nations by showcasing Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) in Kerala, which is the first airport in the world to run fully on solar power. Likewise, India’s first solar-powered cruise boat, “Aditya” was rolled out in Kerala in 2019 for cleaner and cheaper transport which is a great step ahead.

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