Thu, Oct 04, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Indian-led solar alliance to eventually outshine OPEC, Modi tells assembly


UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, left, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi talk during the opening ceremony of International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the Global RE-INVEST India-ISA Partnership Renewable Energy Investors Meet & Expo in New Delhi, on Tuesday.

Photo: EPA-EFE

An India-led coalition to harness solar energy will eventually replace the OPEC oil cartel, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday as he opened the International Solar Alliance’s (ISA) first assembly with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

“The role of the oil wells today will be that of the sun’s rays tomorrow,” Narendra Modi said at the meeting in New Delhi.

“In the coming years, when the world discusses initiatives for the welfare of humanity in the 21st century, ISA’s name will be at the top. We have prepared everyone to ensure climate justice through this ISA forum,” he said.

OPEC pumps about one-third of the world’s oil and over decades has been able to influence the global energy market by controlling the price of crude.

The ISA, launched by Modi and then-French president Francois Hollande in 2015 and based in India, is an alliance of countries mostly between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn that receive plentiful sunshine.

It aims to reduce the costs of financing solar power and related technology, and to mobilize more than a trillion US dollars to build solar facilities and infrastructure by 2030.

“The International Solar Alliance represents exactly what needs to be done and represents the future,” Guterres said.

“We know what we need to do, and by large, we have the tools to do it. What we still lack, fortunately not here in this room ... is the political commitment to make the transformative decisions that will lead us onto a safer path,” he said.

India’s population of 1.3 billion is considered particularly vulnerable to climate change.

The ISA’s first assembly, involving member countries, banks, development funds, the corporate sector and civil society groups, runs through tomorrow.

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