ISA Fills The Gaps, With US as 101st Member, Tie-Up With Nordic Countries For Funding

Highlights :

  • The ISA’s active effort to build on its mandate is welcome, as both the objectives, having the US on board, and arranging for more financing tie-ups, are critical.

The International Solar Alliance (ISA) has seen hectic activity at Glasgow, during the COP 26 summit. The latest announcements from the largest multilateral organisation in recent years is the induction of the United States as a member country, the 101st to do so.

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John Kerry U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate announced at the UNFCCC COP26 that the U.S has joined, and signed the framework agreement of the ISA to catalyse global energy transition through a solar-led approach.

Signing the framework agreement,  Kerry said, “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.”

Union Cabinet Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav welcomed the US entry for adding strength to the ISA and its objectives to provide clean energy worldwide. 

The ISA 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 formalized 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 2nd November 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 of 5 members – USA, Australia, France, the United Kingdom, and India — and endorsed the One Sun Declaration along with 80 countries.  

The US entry was preceded by the establishment of an Investment Advisory Committee composing of leading institutional investors, including multilateral and commercial organizations, to guide ISA on its objective of mobilizing investments of USD 1 trillion dollars in solar energy by 2030. Confirmed Advisory Committee members include senior representatives from Africa50, CDPQ Global, IFC, the Development Bank of Southern Africa, Capricorn Investment Group and Temasek.

The advisory committee’s efforts will inform and direct partnerships that ISA establishes, such as the new partnership it is announcing with Denmark’s Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU), CONCITO, and World Climate Fund. The vision of the partnership is to translate this goal into real investments on the ground, engaging investment and finance actors – initially focusing on the Nordic countries – to mobilize more private finance for solar energy in emerging markets and developing economies, thereby contributing to bringing the world on a pathway to net zero GHG emissions and enabling enhanced access to electricity for underserved populations.

Speaking on these developments Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General, ISA said, “We are pleased to announce the establishment of the Advisory Committee and are deeply heartened by the participation of influential Nordic partners group. The members of the Advisory Committee have depth and diversity of years of experience, and their guidance on solutions will help drive investments across regions. Their guidance, as well as the partnerships with IFU, CONCITO and World Climate Fund will help us unearth opportunities and establish the conditions that facilitate an expanded flow of institutional capital into solar energy. These meaningful partnerships and advisors serve as endorsement of our journey Towards 1000 while also symbolising a diversification and broadening of stakeholder interest in solar energy. We feel emboldened in our conviction that significant and sustainable progress can be achieved in emerging and developing economies across the priority themes of energy access, decarbonization of the power system, and new opportunities for solar.

 The new ISA partnership will build on the Solar Investment Action Agenda released at COP26, and on ISA’s ongoing efforts with the World Resources Institute (WRI), Bloomberg Philanthropies and BloombergNEF to develop a Solar Investment Roadmap to be launched in 2022.

The ISA is also planning to organize a virtual, “Investment Series,” supported by Climate Policy Initiative (CPI). The series will feature discussions with CEOs of financial institutions and with key decision makers in ISA Member Countries on structured, smart and sustainable investment models and solutions.

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