India and France today signed a pact to deepen their cooperation in the field of environment while affirming their commitment to lead the fight against climate change. A day ahead of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) summit here, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron also welcomed the coming into force of the Framework Agreement of the ISA. India and France also committed to fully implement the historic Paris climate change Agreement at the forthcoming Conference of Parties (COP24).
The pact on cooperation in the field of environment was signed by Indian Minister of State for Environment Mahesh Sharma and French Minister of State, attached to the Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, Brune Poirson. The pact aims to establish a basis for exchange of information between both the governments and their technical experts in the field of environment and climate change. India and France also signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, and the National Solar Energy Institute (INES) in France.
Under the agreement, both countries will work on projects in International Solar Alliance (ISA) member countries in the areas of solar energy (solar photovoltaic, storage technologies, etc.) through transfer of technology and collaborative activities. The India-France Joint statement today said both Modi and Macron welcomed the entry into force of the Framework Agreement of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and looked forward to co-hosting the ISA Founding Conference tomorrow.
The ISA Summit, being co-hosted by India and France tomorrow here, will have heads of the states from 23 nations including France, Australia and Sri Lanka. The summit will focus on various aspects of promoting solar energy in 121 countries associated with the IISA like credit mechanism, crowd funding and sharing of technology breakthroughs. The ISA, the brainchild of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is a treaty-based international body for promotion of solar energy in alliance with 121 countries, which are fully or partially between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.
India has set an ambitious target of having 100 GW of solar energy capacities by 2022. It is close to achieving 20 GW in the current fiscal itself and plans to auction 30 GW solar projects each in 2018-19 and 2019-20. “The leaders underlined their commitment to furthering and deepening concrete projects and programmes under the aegis of the ISA to mobilise affordable financing for massive solar energy deployment,” the joint statement said.
Meanwhile, the two sides also reaffirmed their commitment to lead the fight against climate change, based on the principles of “climate justice, fostering climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development.”
“They committed to fully implement the Paris Agreement at the COP24 and further on, under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as a part of an irreversible global process at combating climate change for the benefit of all humanity,” the joint statement said. Both India and France stressed the positive contribution of the ‘One Plant Summit’ in Paris on December 12 last year to this objective. The French President thanked the Indian Prime Minister for India’s support to the initiative to work on a global pact for the environment, the statement said.
The two leaders also reaffirmed that the strengthening of the India-French technological cooperation on renewable energy was a “common priority” for encouraging the emergence and dissemination of innovation in all the sectors. “They stressed the importance of mobilising public and private funds to support the development of solar energy. “In this regard, they welcomed the establishment, within the International Solar Alliance, of an international committee of chambers of industry, and the willingness of the MEDEF, SER, FICCI and CII among others to join it,” the statement said.